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Far West Design Review Case Report


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Project Information

Far West Case #  FW 2017-025

Address: 13820 Lorain Ave
Company: Cube Smart

Convert former Giant Eagle building into climate controlled self-storage.

Erect new, non-climate controlled buildings at rear of property.

Erect new, gray-box, commercial building along Lorain Ave frontage.


Committee Actions/Submissions

Date: November 14, 2017
Committee: Staff
Action Type: Initial Plan Submission
Date: December 13, 2017
Committee: Local Design Review Committee
Action Type: Schematic Design Approval

Schematic Approval

Committee comments/requests summary:

  1. Remove one, if not both curb cuts on Lorain Ave. If one curb cut remains, it should be narrowed.
  2. Increase landscaping along Lorain Ave. Create a strong edge along front of parking lot, adjacent to street.
  3. Identify end-user for front portion of parcel. Until an end user is identified, development proposal should show removal of excess asphalt parking area and replace with lawn or landscaping.
  4. Remove existing, free-standing sign structure. A monument sign is preferred for free-standing sign.
  5. Committee had no Design Review objections to new buildings at rear of parcel.

Meeting notes:

Applicant indicated their intention is to market the portion of the lot closer to Lorain Ave as a development site for a sit-down restaurant.

Committee expressed concern that current proposal does not have an identified end-user for the out lot. If out lot is not, ultimately developed, community is left with a sea of asphalt.

Community Development Corp representative echoed this concern, stating that community might have a greater degree of comfort with the project if an end user for the out lot is identified. Requested meeting with developer and Council Person to discuss further. (meeting set for January 11th, 2017)

Notes from developer about project:

24 hour security.

Developer has identified demand for this type of facility in the area.

110,000 sqft, 2-level facility in former Giant Eagle.

Add 10,600 sqft non-climate controlled storage in rear with separate ingress/egress.

10 employees.

Plan to develop remaining, 28,720 sqft parcel. Chili’s or Golden Corral provided as examples.

Existing Giant Eagle store was built in 1997.

Project Representatives in attendance:

Ken Fisher (Attorney); Jason Limbert (Developer); Julie Lindner (Planning Consultant);


Date: February 2, 2018
Committee: Staff
Action Type: Revised Plan Submission


Note on Committee Vote: McAndrews voted 'No' over concern about process. He did not feel it would be appropriate to provide a final approval without materials and detailed elevations.

Summary Notes from Presentation:

Plan A Frontage Building: Construct spec retail building on Lorain Ave. ($400,000 – just a gray shell - chip board, electrical panels, etc, then find tenant before completing vanilla build.) Construction time 5 months, permit time 4 months. 9 months total.

Plan A Self Storage Facility: Construct non-climate controlled buildings at rear of property. Convert Giant Eagle into a 2-story, climate controlled self-storage facility. Anticipate need to obtain variance to the 80% frontage build-out req. Do not anticipate need for a parking variance.

Parking lot improvements – slurry coat & restriping. Stormwater – proposed to meet current code.

Cube Smart – 3-6 employees. Customers have 24 hour access with individual codes.

Leasing Strategy for front building: Hire a leasing agent. Engage in an exclusive listing contract with a local broker. Perform an in-depth study (void analysis) – determines who is not in the present, then use existing relationships (as a commercial developer) to target those parties.



Date: February 14, 2018
Committee: Local Design Review Committee
Action Type: Approved with Conditions

Approve Plan A.

  • Recommend Planning Commission approve with condition that Staff review final materials & elevations.
  • Provide a more detailed landscape plan with more substantial trees. Largest tree on current plan is redbud. Maple, Locust, or similar large species recommended.
  • Reduce westerly driveway width and expand landscaping. 349.07(c)(3) states "The maximum width of such driveway shall be thirty (30) feet measured at right angles to the angle of the driveway entrance..."

Committee acknowledges that applicant has made a good-faith effort to improve project, and, in consideration of applicant's escrow schedule, makes this recommendation with the understanding that it is atypical to recommend 'Final Approval' without detailed elevations and materials.

Date: February 16, 2018
Committee: City Planning Commission
Action Type: Approved

Return to staff for any unresolved issues.