“We think it's complementary to plans already in place. ”
Self-storage units are coming to a site adjacent to Hamilton Place mall, and the building is seen as helping bolster the redevelopment of the nearby former Sears store.
"We think it's complementary to plans already in place," said Stacey Keating, director of public relations and corporate communications for mall owner CBL Properties.
The Chattanooga-based shopping center developer plans to put up a three-story, 94,000-square-foot self-storage building at 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd., the site of the former Golfsmith store.
Rezoning of the tract will be sought later this month from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, according to a request filed with the panel's staff. The tract, currently zoned for retail, would become C-2 to hold the proposed storage units.
Keating said that if rezoning is approved, the building holding climate-controlled, class A space is expected to be completed by year's end.
CubeSmart, one of the top three self-storage companies in the United States, will manage the facility, she said.
Keating said the space would fit what CBL's top officials envision as creating more of a suburban town center look.
CBL Chief Executive Officer Stephen Lebovitz has said the company, which holds 67 malls nationwide, is focusing less on its sites as conventional malls and more as the town centers.
He said the company's product "has had to be transformed to be competitive and stay relevant and successful."
When malls were built, there was a fairly standard pattern of putting in anchor stores and building a ring road with parking lots, Lebovitz said.
"Now, we're blowing that model up," he said. "That doesn't mean there's no room for specialty and department stores but it also includes beverage, entertainment, fitness and things like that."
Keating said CBL already has put self-storage structures near malls in St. Louis and Cincinnati.
At Hamilton Place mall, the former Sears store and its nearby parking lots will be redone to hold a variety of retail and other uses.
Dick's Sporting Goods is moving across Gunbarrel Road to the Sears site and a Dave & Buster's restaurant and entertainment complex and offices are planned. A hotel is eyed in a nearly parking lot, and a Cheesecake Factory restaurant opened in an another outparcel in December.
Keating said the growth of family and multi-family residences in the Hamilton Place area also creates a need for the self-storage units.
"It's another convenience among those already coming to the campus," she said.
The proposed self-storage site for many years held Golfsmith, one of the largest retailers of golf equipment and apparel, which opened in 2011. After that business closed, the building was used as a temporary store during Halloween, Keating said.
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