A self-storage company has lodged a request to triple the number of warehouse lots on its inner-city site, in an $8 million plan being assessed by Wollongong City Council.
Kennards Self Storage, which operates from Gipps Street in Wollongong, has submitted a plan for four new self-storage blocks to be built next to the South Coast rail line.
This will provide double the amount of leasable storage space currently at the site.
This expansion is required, the company says, due to “growing demand for self-storage in the local residential and business community”.
The new warehouses would fill in much of a nearly 30,000 square metre block of land which runs between Flinders Street and the rail line.
The proposal also includes a new road bridge crossing Fairy Creek to link Station and Stafford streets – next to North Wollongong station and Dan Murphy’s – to the Kennards complex.
A traffic assessment lodged says the new storage units will have an “insignificant” impact of traffic in Gipps Street, near the entry to Bunnings, and the street next to the railway station.
According to Kennards, the new storage space will support economic activity in the Wollongong CBD.
“Whilst this self-storage centre itself only employs small staff numbers it exponentially facilitates numerous commercial enterprises, and is a support centre to the activity of the city centre,” the application to council says.
“The occupation of the current centre has shown a direction indication of the high demand for self-storage.”
Across Australia, the self-storage sector is undergoing a rapid expansion, with 45 new facilities in the pipeline across the nations major cities.
According to the property consultancy firm Urbis, occupancy in storage units along the east coast of Australia is about 85 per cent.
The Wollongong expansion is worth just under $8 million and will be assessed by the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel as it is listed as having a “council interest” due to the access bridge being built over council land.
Plans will be on display through the council’s website until April 20.