Another Tonawanda Street property could be heading for a new use. Rather than residential, this one would be predominantly a self-storage facility. 31 Tonawanda St. LLC, led by Jack Ruh, is proposing a self-storage facility, a manager unit, and two business suites for the 31 Tonawanda Street complex that is at the base of the Route 198 off-ramp.
From the application to the Zoning Board of Appeals:
Proposed project calls for a mixed-use redevelopment, featuring a self-storage facility, a manager/caretaker residential unit and two yet to be determined business suites. Given the layout of the existing building the administrative offices of self-storage, the residential unit, and the multiple business suites have been programmed along the Tonawanda Street elevation, primarily in the former high-bay ( story and a half ) manufacturing and shipping space, with the self-storage units being placed in the rear three story portion of the complex. The existing masonry is proposed to be repointed / repaired as necessary and repainted, while historic masonry openings will be reopened and glazed with an industrial style storefront system, or double hung windows as appropriate. The existing deteriorating metal cladding system will be removed, former openings and sections of masonry walls beneath responsibly infilled/repaired and a completely new metal cladding system installed. Work also includes contamination remediation, roof replacement, and installation of all new utilities.
Two Variances are required:
The individual storage units of a self-storage facility in N-1C, N-1S, N-2C, N-2E, N-3C and N-3E zones must be located only in the upper stories of a fully-enclosed building, with access to individual storage units provided from common areas located indoors.
As proposed in current plans the first floor of the rear section of the building, that being defined as the three story portion of the complex, is currently programmed as internally accessed self-storage units, which would be prohibited per stated ordinance section above. Self-storage is an ideal utilization for this structurally deep minimally fenestrated warehouse space. Continuous programming of self-storage units in the three story structure allows for stacking and efficient layout of utilities, while allowing nonstacking and daily active spaces, such as admin space, drop off, and caretaker unit to be placed in front along high visibility, primary viewsheds. If parcels was zoned similarly to neighboring parcels in the district, D-IL, first floor self-storage use would be permitted.
A second set of Variances are also needed for not meeting required transparency on the complex’s facades. Carmina Wood Morris is designing the project that will be reviewed by the Zoning Board next Wednesday.Big Re
Tonawanda Street is seeing a surge in developer interest. Karl Frizlen and Jason Yots are converting a former freight terminal at 68 Tonawanda Street into a mix of 37 apartments and 1,300 sq.ft. of commercial space. Eran Epstein and Element Properties are proposing 85 apartments and 25,000 sq.ft. of self-storage space in its Fedders Lofts project at 57 and 71 Tonawanda Street.