MRC aids mini-storage developer
When Lowel Yoder of Y&S Enterprises went to the city of Madras about building a 430-unit mini-storage facility behind the Dollar Tree Store off of Highway 97, he was told he would be responsible for paying to have the right-of-way on the adjacent street improved.
That would have cost more than $300,000.
"That was kind of a hard impact for what they're building for mini storage," Public Works Director Jeff Hurd told the Madras Redevelopment Commission at its Aug. 25 meeting.
And it would have left gravel on either side of the improvements.
Hurd considered how improvements could be made all the way from Olive Street to Fairgrounds Road and could also take some of the burden off Yoder.
He and City Administrator Gus Burril proposed that Y&S Enterprises pay $70,000 toward the project, covering sidewalk curbs and a landscape strip.
He suggested the Madras Redevelopment Commission kick in $280,930 to construct the road, pavement and street lights all the way to Fairgrounds Road.
"The proposed Cube Smart mini-storage would add an estimated in value of $3-3.5 million in new construction and also generate approximately $43,553 in transportation SDCs and $5,025 in stormwater SDCs," Hurd wrote in his staff report. "These funds are eligible for construction of the project."
The city would allocate $48,688 of the transportation and stormwater system development charges toward the project.
"The project not only helps to convert an existing gravel road into pavement but also improves Olive Street for Y&S Enterprises development, the existing homeowners on the west side, and the property directly behind Opportunity Foundation, reducing one more financial burden for future development to the northern vacant lot adjacent," Hurd wrote.
Yoder said that while he is not from Madras, he has family in the area, and he loves real estate.
"So, the whole aspect of real estate in Madras, in Culver, in Metolius, there's a lot of people moving in there," he said.
A friend was going to build the facility but couldn't do it.
"So, I kind of took over his place," Yoder said. "I think with our plan, I think it would really complement in the coming years the growth I would see coming to Madras."
He said the challenge is making sure he can recoup the cost of construction with rents. After that, he plans on adding improvements in the future, such as paving the whole facility.
Commissioner Gary Walker asked if the facility would be more than one level.
Yoder said the initial plan is one level, but another could be added, though probably not for at least 10 years.
He told Commissioner Jennifer Holcomb the facility would have 430 units of varying sizes, with the largest being 10-by-20 feet.
Holcomb also asked how the facility would impact traffic, especially around the fair and other major events.
"Mini storage is a pretty low trip generator," Hurd said. "I think they only generate somewhere around six to eight peak-hour trips."
And just north of the new Love's truck stop, another road will be coming into the highway at the north end, Hurd said.
"Future connectivity to that Love's commercial complex area, so there's options to not use the highway if you're on that side of town," City Administrator Gus Burril added.
Then Burril asked Yoder if he had built a mini-storage facility before.
"I've never built a mini-storage facility, but I've been a builder my whole life," he said. "This, to me, looks easy. We'll do the actual construction of it. It looks very simple compared to building apartments or houses, so I don't have any problems with that."
The more difficult thing is the zoning process, he said, "but I'm getting on board."
Burril explained that mini storage is a conditional use in the area, and the Planning Commission will have to approve the facility. While mini storage isn't an outright permitted use in the area, there is a neighboring storage facility.
Holcomb asked if Yoder planned on putting up a fence so it would look nice.
Yoder said he is planning for a fence on the street side and the west side. Dollar Tree has a fence, and he would not put up a fence toward the existing storage facility.
"I think it looks good," Walker said. "It will be a nice improvement to that area and that street. It's kind of unoffensive, even though it will probably look really nice."
"You're comfortable that the tax increment will repay over time?" Commission Chairman Bartt Brick asked city staff.
Burril said it would take 10 to 12 years.
The MRC unanimously approved the road construction project.
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