Such is Suwanee officials' desire to improve the Gateway area of the city that they are willing to deviate from their planning efforts to allow a self-storage facility to be built near I-85.
The city's planning officials have recommended that City Council approve rezoning of property at 345 Sawmill Drive to light industrial to allow for the development. Approval could come at Tuesday's council meeting.
The land currently is owned by Regency Church of God, according to city documents, and sits behind a Chevron gas station that is closest to the I-85 ramp. A vacant building that once housed a Waffle House is on the property.
The Gateway area roughly extends from I-85 (Exit 111) to Satellite Boulevard along Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, and it has been hit hard by business failures in recent years.
Josh Campbell, Suwanee director of planning, told council members recently that future land use "does not recommend" that type of zoning, but allowing the self-storage facility would "present a positive image to the folks in the Gateway."
Campbell noted that architect Jerry Spangler, whose firm designed the new Suwanee Police substation in that area, "was impressed' with the design of the proposed self-storage facility.
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The self-storage facility, under the application of Amburgy Properties, would be 70,000 square feet and include three buildings.
Campbell noted that the lot would be fenced in. "We don't want people hanging out," Campbell said.
The new police substation, which opened in September at I-85, is symbolic of the city's desire to revive the Gateway area. Citizen feedback to do so was strong in the recent 20/20 Vision strategic planning effort.