After a series of self-storage facilities have been opposed by neighbors across South County in recent years, the St. Louis County Planning Commission is recommending one along Gravois Road.
The county planning panel voted unanimously 7-0 March 8 to recommend approval of a plan from developer Dan Wagner for Gravois Self-Storage, a 120,000-square-foot self-storage facility that would be the first Wagner has ever developed.
The County Council will still have the final say on the site.
In Sappington, developers propose using a 4.7-acre tract of land at 11411 Gravois Road and 11431 Gravois Road, on the north side of Gravois roughly 780 feet east of Denny Road, as a self-storage and retail sales facility with possible RV and boat storage.
It is the current site of an automotive business and offices along with one single-family house with a detached garage at the back of the site and is surrounded on several sides by retail, but it is bordered to the north by single-family houses and to the west by multi-family residences.
The site is under the County Council jurisdiction of 5th District Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, D-Maplewood and is two sites down from the Lindbergh Schools Central Office and near the future location of the St. Louis County Police Department’s new Affton Southwest Precinct.
Two-story building proposed on sloping site
An engineer and architect representing developer Dan Wagner told the commission at a Jan. 25 videoconferenced public hearing that the storage facility would be two stories, using the natural, drastic slope of the site to make the building appear to be two stories from Gravois Road but only one story in the back.
The bottom story would measure 40,000 square feet, while the second story would cover the full footprint.
From the front, the building would be roughly 25 feet tall and in the back, it would be around 30 feet high.
Under the plan, all loading and unloading would be on the inside of the building, with customers pulling their cars through a secured perimeter and then going inside to unpack their belongings.
Only customers who had authority to be at the site would be allowed in. Customers could take elevators to the other floor.
The developer held a neighborhood meeting for nearby residents in December through Zoom and modified the plan based on that feedback, choosing to save more existing trees along the property line bordering those residents. The developer said that lighting would not overflow onto neighboring properties.
Operating hours with staff present would be 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and unstaffed hours would start at 6 a.m.and go to 9 p.m. every day of the week through locked gates.
Commission member Keith Taylor asked what other storage facilities Wagner operated in St. Louis or even around the country, but architect Ron Powell said that the Gravois site was Wagner’s “first endeavor into self-storage.”