New homes, self-storage planned for Near Southside

The Near Southside could gain new homes, a three-story self-storage facility — even wine storage — just west of where Eighth Avenue and Windsor Place intersect.

With city approval, several small homes and a $10 million, 900-unit self-storage facility would be built on the same 4.27-acre tract along the southern portion of the Fort Worth Medical District.

Developers are hammering out a site plan for what they hope will please prospective homebuyers and those seeking climate-controlled storage alternatives. They plan to submit a site plan in the next few months to be reviewed by the city’s Plan Commission and City Council.

“This is an area that is underserved in self storage,” said Gary Delaney, whose Chicago area-based Banner Storage Group LLC has met with residents of the nearby Berkeley Place neighborhood and assured them there would be no intrusive light or noise from the facility.

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The storage facility promises about 150,000 square feet of climate-controlled storage space for what Delaney calls strong local demand for such a business.

The building would stand on the northwest corner of Eighth Avenue and Windsor Place about three blocks south of Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth.

Delaney is seeking a zoning change from light industrial, which includes most commercial uses, to planned development (PD), which allows residential use. That’s critical because John Norkus, Delaney’s Houston-based partner who owns the property, plans the residential development for the western portion of the property. No details on the residential plans were available.

Both residential and self-storage plans will be included on the same PD.

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“We are working together to complete the site plan for the entire site, and that is what will be presented at the next meeting,” said Delaney, referring to a regular monthly meeting of the Berkeley Place Association.

The land in question is vacant. Railroad tracks run parallel to the property along the western edge of Eighth Avenue. Delaney called the self-storage facility a “nice buffer” between existing homes and the trains that create noise for residents living along the eastern edge of Berkeley Place. Neighborhood streets closest to the property include Warner Road, Ben Hall and Patton courts.

As for the self-storage facility, prospective renters can expect about 900 units ranging from 5 feet by 5 feet to 10 feet by 30 feet. Delaney determined that demand exists after studying demographics of those living in the area. He cited higher incomes, higher education levels and higher disposable income than average among area residents.

“Climate-controlled product is higher priced than typical non-heated or air-conditioned drive-ups that you see,” said Delaney.

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He anticipates minimal traffic noise and customer visibility from Windsor since customers would follow a road entering the middle of the building.

“What we are proposing is that the customer would drive through the middle of the building and unload inside the building. Everything would be inside,” Delaney said.

Banner Storage Group would pay all construction costs. The project would mark the firm’s first Fort Worth venture, though it has developed two similar storage facilities in Dallas’ Galleria area and in North Dallas.