Self-storage facilities proposed in Pawtucket

Self-storage facilities proposed in Pawtucket

Plans show where the self-storage facility would go near the Lorraine Mills in Pawtucket.

PAWTUCKET – Self-storage facilities appear to be all the rage in Pawtucket and elsewhere due in part to impacts from the pandemic.

One self-storage facility is proposed at 602 Mineral Spring Ave., and officials have confirmed that another one is planned for a former medical building previously owned by Memorial Hospital at 555 Prospect St.

On April 20 at 6 p.m., the City Planning Commission will hold a remote public hearing on Zoom to review a proposed development project at 602-650 Mineral Spring Ave., with applicant SAFStor Real Estate Co. proposing to build a self-storage facility with designated loading and 12 surface parking spaces.

The property is located next to Lorraine Mills and near the city’s waste transfer station.

According to Assistant Planning Director Jay Rosa, the Planning Commission may vote at the conclusion of the April 20 meeting to approve, approve with conditions, or deny the proposed project.

Property owners within 200 feet were receiving notices this week about the project. Anyone who wants to have a staff member go over the plans with them can call 401-728-0500.

The project is limited in scope due to the presence of wetlands and grade changes on the property.

Officials have emphasized to the developers that they want to see this property and area near San Antonio Way significantly upgraded to be more aesthetically appealing, including removal of the fence, new landscaping, and upgrades to pavement and sidewalks. Also among the suggestions here are possible new walking paths.

According to a Forbes article in December, there are several factors driving the self-storage industry higher, including growing urbanizations, increasing downsizing due to the impacts of COVID-19, and lifestyle changes, among others.

“While there are many things that affect real estate performance, self-storage is influenced by the transition and trauma business,” it states.

As a result of the role such places play in major life events, “it is one of the most recession-resistant asset classes,” it adds.

According to Forbes, renters need a place to store the belongings that no longer fit when their rental spaces shrink, they move home with family, or they choose a more nomadic lifestyle. Also adding to the demand are businesses at risk of failing, as they need a place to store items as they wait to get back on their feet.

Officials have also confirmed that storage facilities are planned at 555 Prospect St., across from Prospect Heights. The entity that purchased that 76,000-square-foot building for $1.45 million last September, WSP II Pawtucket LLC, is associated with names in the storage industry.

A rendering shows what the Mineral Spring Avenue storage facility, proposed for a blighted site, could look like.
A storage facility is also planned at 555 Prospect St. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)