A former dry-cleaning property owned by the Pulley family will become a climate-controlled storage facility and business incubator now that City Council has approved the project.
Some stages of the project still remain to be approved, but work on the property at 801 S. Beech St. is expected to begin within a year, said Scott Webb, the architect in charge of the project.
According to city documentation, the two-acre property had been a processing plant for Capitol Dry Cleaners for many decades, but as Capitol moved to having cleaning equipment at individual stores, this site was abandoned. In recent years it has been mostly vacant, occasionally housing smaller businesses. After the laundry operation closed, the Pulley family performed a voluntary cleanup of the site about 15 years ago, Webb said.
The new plan calls for new rows of freestanding self-storage buildings to be constructed around the site, joining the 32,650 square feet of storage and office spaces that already exist there. Webb had applied for a conditional use permit, which council has approved.
Plans for the business incubator are not fully realized yet, but there is 3,000 square feet of office space on the site.
“The Pulley family still keeps an office there, and they could keep copy machines and a storage locker that could support small businesses,” Webb said.
The property was zoned General Business and the EPA agreement from the cleanup stipulated it could never be used for residential purposes. The Pulleys latched onto the idea of a storage facility, modeling it after former big box store locations like Toys R Us that were re-used, Webb said.
In doing all this, the Pulley family “really wants to dress up the neighborhood quite a bit,” he added. Webb estimated the site would see three or four cars a day, so traffic should not be a problem. Jeff Pulley said he would like to turn the area into a community corner with features on Oxford history, similar to what’s known as the “slant walk” at Miami University.
Councilman Richard Keebler said, “To me, it’s a good re-use. It’ll be quiet, there won’t be much traffic … it’s certainly more attractive than what’s there now.”
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