'Modern' self-storage proposed for San Marco

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When hundreds of apartment dwellers move into an area, chances are they will need a place to store their stuff.

To serve those needs for renters coming to several new residential projects on the Southbank and in San Marco, a developer wants to build a four-story self-storage facility on 1.16 acres along Kings Avenue.

Property owner Bee Street Investors Inc. proposes to develop the self-storage center on part of the land at 1853 and 1877 Kings Ave.

It will feature a “modern” four-story, 100,000-square-foot personal-property storage facility whose units are fully enclosed and accessed from within the building, according to a zoning application.

“This project will provide a much-needed support service to the San Marco and Downtown communities,” says the application for an administrative deviation to the zoning code.

The facility will feature “state-of-the-art lighting and surveillance throughout the interior and exterior of the building as well as access-controlled glass sliding doors at multiple points in the building,” it says.

A professional national management company will run the operation.

If granted, the application said the request will allow “redevelopment of a site that is presently occupied by vacant rundown buildings.”

The modern design, it said, “will aesthetically improve the area.”

The project also would provide the storage service in an area attracting hundreds of apartments.

“The demand for such personal storage facilities will only increase as new multifamily projects (including East San Marco, 1230 Hendricks, Ventures Southbank, Alliance River House, Home Street and The District) are developed in the San Marco area,” the application says.

The application indicates 700 to 750 self-storage units of varying sizes.

Bee Street requests deviations to reduce the minimum lot area from 2 to 1.16 acres; reduce the minimum number of off-street parking spaces from 50 to 15; decrease the number of loading spaces from three to two; and reduce the vehicle use area interior landscape from 1,125 to 974 square feet.

While Bee Street Investors owns the property, the deviation is requested for NitNeil Development LLC of Atlanta.

NitNeil Partners, led by principals Nitesh and Neil Sapra, was founded in 1985 and developed its first self-storage facility in 1994 in Madison, Ala.

From 2013-15, it partnered with ExtraSpace Storage and Life Storage to rebrand and manage its self-storage portfolio.

By that time, it also expanded to more than 1 million square feet of self-storage space across eight states.

Last year it hired David Robinson as director of construction and Andrew Guinn as director of investments to position for growth.

NitNeil’s slogan is “redefining self storage.”

It is active in eight primarily Southeastern states and targets Texas, Colorado and New Mexico for growth, according to nitneilpartners.com.

The website shows almost 25 projects either completed or planned. Jacksonville is not on the active map.

The applicant for Bee Line is Driver, McAfee, Peek & Hawthorne. Bee Line’s president is Carl M. Smith Jr.

Smith and NitNeil did not return phone calls.

The application says the property is bounded by Interstate 95 to the north; Dex Imaging, PRI Productions and ACDelco to the west; and Bug Out Service and a vacant lot to the south.

The existing development at 1853 Kings Ave. that currently is occupied by Dex Imaging will not change and is not subject to the application.

According to the application, all the storage units will be vertically arranged and enclosed in the four-story building “rather than a sprawling line of garage-type units.”

Renters will access their units by foot using an elevator rather than driving up to an individual storage unit, eliminating the need for a full 2 acres.

Regarding parking, the application says NitNeil’s business model, based on its other self-storage projects, is that few renters at once access their storage units throughout the day, so the parking needs are lower.

The application says that within the past five years, NitNeil has developed successful multilevel projects in urban markets such as Tampa, Atlanta, Charleston, S.C., and the Raleigh-Durham market in North Carolina.

It also points out that there are other multilevel storage buildings, such as CubeSmart at 646 Park St. in Riverside.

Genpact hiring; build-out approved

Build-out was approved for Genpact, a global financial-services processing firm that wants to hire 200 people in its first year.

Recruiting has begun. Jobs are posted at careers.genpact.com.

Communications Vice President Gail Marold said the company has hired five people and has interviews this week so that it can hire the first group of at least 20 in time for the first training class July 24.

Auld & White Constructors LLC will renovate 37,356 square feet of space at a job cost of $893,920 on a full floor in Capital Plaza at 10401 Deerwood Park Blvd.

Marold said previously that Genpact would expand after the first 200 employees.

Genpact provides processing, underwriting, and closing services for residential mortgage loans for large financial services clients. It will expand into other services areas that it provides globally, including finance and accounting and customer service work.

She said Genpact chose Jacksonville “because it is an excellent market for financial services talent in the Southeast and has an extremely favorable business climate.”

Genpact has a U.S. presence in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. It says it has more than 11 delivery centers and sales offices and about 4,500 employees in the U.S.

It also has offices internationally. It is domiciled in Bermuda.

Genpact stands for “generating business impact” and designs and runs digitally powered business process management and services.

It began as a division of General Electric Co. and became independent in 2004 when GE spun off the operations and sold interests to Genpact’s initial investors.

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