This aerial view shows the site of a future three-story self-storage warehouse that will be built at the intersection of Desert Foothills Parkway and Marketplace Way, Ahwatukee.
Brandon McMahon

A company recently spent $1.8 million on a 2.78-acre plot of vacant land at Desert Foothills Parkway and Marketplace Way, Ahwatukee, for construction of a self-storage warehouse.

Denise Nunez, senior vice president of NAI Horizon’s National Self-Storage Investment Group, represented 1784 Capital Holdings LLC in selling the plot to Moncap, LLC, of Scottsdale.

“This parcel of land had been vacant for 32 years,” Nunez said. “A hidden gem, it will serve well as a community self-storage project that will benefit from the expansion of the 202 just south and the extension of Chandler Boulevard to the west of this location.”

In August, the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee voted 9-1 to recommend city planning commission approval of the self-storage facility. At the time, approval was given for a 104,000-square-foot facility to include three floors, one of them below ground.

The commission’s action followed a discussion about the changes that the developer had made to satisfy neighboring homeowners’ concerns, although some residents still opposed it.

“My opinion, the committee believed the proposed commercial use was less obtrusive then many of the other commercial possibilities for the site,” committee Chairman Chad Blostone said at the time.

“Also, the developer made significant improvements to the design of the building,” he added. “He split the building into two, lowered both, and added architectural features and landscaping not required by the city.”

Though proposed for a long-vacant piece of land zoned for commercial use, the project required a special permit because it will be used for storage. The site has been vacant for the last 32 years.

In a June 10 letter to neighbors, attorney Jessi Thornton, who represents 1784 Capital Holdings, promised a state-of-the-art facility where outside storage would be forbidden.

“The use will provide a low-intensity, low-traffic-generating buffer to the adjacent residential uses while providing convenient storage options for nearby residents and businesses,” he wrote.

In documents originally filed with the city, his firm, Withey Morris PLC, called the project a neighborhood improvement that would eliminate a “magnet for unsafe activities and general nuisance.”

The law firm said its proposed maximum height of 25 feet is lower than the two 30-foot high single-story supermarkets nearby.

“The proposed low-intensity commercial use is much more compatible with the adjacent residential than the more intense commercial uses that are permitted,” it said.

The firm also said that reflective glass will not be used in windows facing nearby homes and that entrances for traffic onto and away from the site would be on the building’s west side, opposite homes.

The fact that the warehouse will have 24-hour electronic surveillance also prompted the city to revise an old requirement for a round-the-clock guard at self-storage facilities. Officials said advances in technology made it unnecessary to post a person on the premises of such establishments.

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