Entrepreneur proposes self-storage facility near Wauconda

  • An entrepreneur wants to build a self-storage facility on the site of a former horse farm on Old Rand Road near Wauconda.

      An entrepreneur wants to build a self-storage facility on the site of a former horse farm on Old Rand Road near Wauconda. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/7/2020 6:20 PM

The former owner of the now-closed Atrium Garden Center in Kildeer wants to open a self-storage facility near Wauconda.

Accompanied by a lawyer and consultants, Wauconda resident Timothy James unveiled his plan Tuesday during a public hearing at the Wauconda Area Library. The hearing was before Lake County's zoning board of appeals, which advises the Lake County Board on development proposals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

James already has purchased the nearly 23-acre site at 25250 W. Old Rand Road. The property is just east of the Messiah Lutheran Church and west of Brown Road.

At one time, the property had been a horse farm, but the site is in disrepair. A vacant house and other buildings there are in poor shape, a pond is covered in algae and many trees are dead.

"It hasn't been maintained in a long time," James said.

James wants to build a Store More storage facility on the southern part of the site. There would be garages for personal storage and outdoor storage areas for boats and recreational vehicles, he said.

James proposed leaving more than 60% of the site as open space and restoring it to a healthier state. That would include removing invasive plant species and dead trees and planting new trees, he said.

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"We're going to eliminate the history of abuse on this property," James told the audience of about 100 people.

James has requested the property be rezoned to general commercial, from residential, so the project can move forward. He's also requested a conditional use permit to allow the business.

After more than three hours of discussion, the zoning board agreed to recommend approval of the requests.

The county board ultimately will rule on the requests after a review by its public works, planning and transportation committee.

James has a history of business ownership in the suburbs. In addition to owning the Atrium Garden Center until it closed in 2018, he owned Flowerwood Garden Center in Crystal Lake.

James sold the Atrium site to Arlington Heights-based Northwest Community Healthcare. An outpatient care center is set to open there.

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