Plans for a two-story storage facility on Market Street in the Ogden area were approved by New Hanover County commissioners Monday night. The vote followed a public hearing on the property, during which no citizens signed up to speak either for or against the project.
The facility will be built on 3.15 acres of currently undeveloped land located at 7755 Market St., in the area between Bayshore Drive and Marsh Oaks Drive. Original plans for the property, which were approved by the board of commissioners last August, included five one-story buildings totaling 52,700 sq. ft. of space. The amendment approved Monday night changes the look of the facility and increases the amount of space to 79,000 sq. ft.
According to Cindee Wolf of Design Solutions, who represents the property owners, since that first plan was approved, they saw a need for more space and realized there were no multi-story storage places in the county.
“We looked at the highest and best use of what this property would be,” said Wolf. “We believe that on Market Street, this is the right place to introduce this kind of product.”
The new site plan shows a large 70,000 sq. ft two-story building along the property’s front side facing Market Street. Two smaller, one-story buildings are set behind that. Though the building space is increased, there is a reduction in the property’s impervious coverage, which allows for the pond currently on the property to be preserved (and used for stormwater retention) as well as for the rear buffer area to be increased.
Wolf said she did not know exactly how many storage units the facility would have. Other storage facilities in the area include Ocean Highway Mini Storage at 7706 Market St. and Mr. Store It Wilmington at 6947 Market St.
While commissioners had no problem with the building plans, there were some concerns about traffic. According to New Hanover County Current Planner Brad Schuler, the North Carolina Department of Transportation traffic counts show the area is operating at an “E” level of service, meaning it is functioning near the street’s capacity level.
“Traffic on Market Street is a challenge,” said Commissioner Skip Watkins, who noted that there are right turn lanes into properties north and south of 7755 Market St. to help motorists entering businesses there.
“Any step we can take, any thing we can do is a good idea [to ease congestion],” said Commissioner Rob Zapple, who said he himself travels up and down Market Street on a regular basis. “We know at times that Market Street can be a mess. I’m very sensitive to bringing more traffic there.”
Zapple suggested that a right turn lane into the property be added as a condition for approval, but was told that based on other projects in the area, the NCDOT would most likely enforce that on the developers.
“I fully expect there will be a requirement for the right turn lane,” said Wolf.
After the discussion, Watkins made a motion to approve the amendment, and Vice Chair Jonathan Barfield seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.