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Indoor storage planned for 8th Avenue

December 19, 2018

HUNTINGTON - There will be a new indoor, climate-controlled storage facility on 8th Avenue after members of the Huntington Board of Zoning Appeals gave their blessing Tuesday night.

Board members granted a special permit to Whirlwind Storage LLC to build a three-story storage facility on the lots of 625, 629, 635 and 639 on 8th Avenue. The lots currently contain a closed salon building, which was formerly a casket manufacturer, and a storage building that was used by McCorkle Machine and Engineering.

Thomas Good, of Whirlwind Storage, said the salon building will be torn down to be part of the proposed three-story storage facility. The former machine shop building will be used as appliance and furniture storage for Good’s separate house-flipping business.

Good said he performed a study showing there is a need for a climate-controlled storage business in that area. The building will feature a brick facade and the outside will be closed off with 6-foot iron picket fencing, he said.

“That is something that could be useful in that neighborhood,” said Chairwoman Patricia Proctor. “In addition, you prepared a pretty attractive plan, which many storage facilities are not very attractive.”

Proctor said she appreciated that the storage facility would blend in with the mixed-use residential neighborhood and not be an eyesore.

The storage facility will feature a key-code access gate off 8th Avenue and a steel awning entrance way, Good said. There will also be a kiosk outside for people to pay their storage rent, rent new units or rent locks.

“We will be adding approximately 35 to 40 high-definition cameras both inside and outside,” he said. “We will also add additional lighting, of course, to brighten up that area and not make it look so blighted as it does right now.”

Board member Jaqueline Proctor questioned if there were any brownfield issues relating to the former machine shop or casket manufacturer. Good said he was not aware of any potential pollution issues. He intends to take the lots, which are completely concrete, and covert them into pervious concrete, which allows water to seep through and not cause flooding.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, board members agreed to hold off on an application for a special permit to construct a drive-through at Donut Connection on Hal Greer Boulevard. Board members wanted clarification about how the drive-through would not interfere with vehicle and pedestrian traffic along the road, which is near Cabell Huntington Hospital. The petitioner agreed to revise his plan and work out some of their safety suggestions, including removing one of two curb-cut entrances and only allowing cars to exit the drive-through on an alleyway nearby.

Board members were also introduced to Shae Strait, the city’s new planning director. Strait will be filling in for Planning Director Bre Shell, who is set to begin a maternity leave in the coming months.

Strait received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in architecture from West Virginia University and was previously an Army engineer.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.

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