Mount Laurel Planning Board Approves 1,083-Unit Self-Storage Facility on Route 38 at Union Mill Road, NJ

The two lots on Route 38 are mostly wooded. Storage of Mt. Laurel LLC application to the Mount Laurel Planning Board

A Florida developer won the Mount Laurel Planning Board’s approval on Tuesday night for a three-story, 151,008-square-foot self-storage facility on two mostly wooded lots at Route 38 and Union Mill Road.

Storage of Mt. Laurel LLC of Boca Raton, Florida received preliminary and final major site plan approval for the 3.88-acre site, which is next door to an existing self-storage operation run by U-Haul Moving & Storage.

Board members were unanimous, voting 7-0 in favor of the application.

The facility will have a total of 1,083 individual units, ranging in size in feet from five-by-five to 10-by-30, according to the developer’s plans filed with the board. The main variance the developer sought was approval of six parking spaces when the square-footage formula from the ordinance requires 152 spaces.

Self-storage is a permitted use for the lots, which are in the industrial zone.

The 3018 Route 38 property is owned by RW Real Estate Company LLC, care of Burlington Kia in Burlington Township. The entrance and exit will be on Union Mill Road.

The footprint of the storage facility. Storage of Mt. Laurel LLC application to the Mount Laurel Planning Board

Unlike traditional storage facilities, customers use an app on their smart phones to access the site and open their storage units, explained Neal Patel, of Boca Raton, Florida, who represented the developer and owns 24% of Storage of Mt. Laurel. The other owners, also from Boca Raton, are Sanjay Patel, who owns 52%, and Hiren Patel, who owns 24%.

“Self-storage is a three- to five-mile business” attracting nearby residents, Patel told the board. He added that the average square feet of storage per person available in the area is far less than the national average.

“The market is very underserved in this area,” Patel told the board.

The facility would serve a large apartment complex that is being built across Route 38 from the storage facility, the developer’s representatives said.

“Primarily, we’re targeting residential,” he said. About 90% of the customers will be residential, although some businesses may rent space for document or other storage, Patel added. No hazardous materials would be permitted.

An estimated 60 to 90 move-ins and move-outs are anticipated each month.

The developer plans a blend of 18 shade, two ornamental and 29 evergreen trees as well as shrubs on the site. An estimated 20 trees eight inches or more in diameter at chest height now exist on the site, with the others smaller than that, according to the developer.

“The parking demand for this use is very low,” said James Kyle, the professional planner representing the developer and in defense of the parking variance. He noted that fewer parking spaces means a smaller impervious surface area would be needed.


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