The site of a proposed storage facility at 1340 Page Road. Paige Fisher/The Portager
A New York City-based property management company plans to build a new storage facility with climate-controlled units in Aurora’s industrial park, thanks in part to a large tax abatement from the city.
The company is receiving a Community Reinvestment Area #1 tax abatement, which means the company will not have to pay any Aurora property taxes for up to 15 years.
MJ property Group will invest $6 million to build the storage facility at 1340 Page Road, according to the draft agreement. The building’s future assessed value is unknown but would be subject to a tax rate of $67.89 per $1,000 of assessed value.
“Community Reinvestment Areas are areas of land in which property owners can receive tax incentives for investing in real property improvements,” Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said.
Aurora has three community reinvestment areas, each with different tax incentives for business location or expansion.
“What Aurora is trying to do is provide incentive, to not only build in that area to help the business sustain, so that it doesn’t go belly up,” said Chuck Linder, a representative for MJ Property Group.
The company estimates it will save 13% per year on operating costs as a result of the tax abatement, the draft agreement states.
“For our facility, it will actually benefit in the sense because it is a storage and there’s rent involved that there’s a period of time, usually three to five years, before the business will reach a positive cash flow,” Linder said.
The facility is projected to be finished between August and September 2024.
“Based upon our research, this would be the only climate-controlled self-storage unit in Aurora. These kinds of units are more popular because they protect stored items from temperature extremes, humidity and pests better than others,” Womer Benjamin said.
The mayor said the storage facility would be a service to the community, though the loss of property tax from the abatement affects the city’s long-term finances. MJ Properties estimates it will pay $275,000 in payroll the first three years of operations.
“The city considers abatements carefully, however, weighing the loss of real estate taxes for the period of the abatement against the benefits to the community, since the loss impacts not only the city’s finances but also the schools’ finances.” Womer Benjamin said.
The facility will be open to the public with a rental fee, and will have 24/7 surveillance with cameras surrounding the facility.
A fence with two gates, including key pads, surrounding the area is another safety measure. There will also be a person on site during normal business hours.
“Security will be cameras, so everything will be tied to the internet, and it will be monitored 24/7,” Linder said. “We won’t have somebody on site 24/7 — normal business hours for somebody on site — but we intend on going automated as well.”
Linder mentioned having the facility fully automated would eventually allow renters to download an app and be able to monitor their storage unit from a cell phone.
“We’re going to try to modernize this as much as possible. Make it as easy as possible for the customer,” Linder said.