Roseville, CA-based LifeStorage has its sights set on an award-winning office building in Northbrook, IL. Actually, LifeStorage has its sights set on the site where the building stands.

If given the green light, the self-storage operator would demolish the 36,000-square-foot Lipson Alport Glass Associates building to make way for a 120,000-square-foot self-storage facility with up to 1,000 units. The property is at 990 Skokie Blvd.

The Chicago Tribune reports that LifeStorage hopes to buy the 3.2-acre site once Northbrook village leaders approve zoning changes.

The office building, which 11 years ago won the honor of the American Institute of Architect’s Distinguished Chicago Building of the Year award, was put up for sale in 2012 and was vacated in October. Colliers International is listing the property for $5.5 million, but the Tribune reported the asking price is $4.8 million.

Economic viability

Joe Valerio, the architect who designed the office building, said it would be his third award-winning project to meet the wrecking ball.

“It’s too bad, but that’s the way life is,” Valerio told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s probably an economic thing. You can make a lot more money with a big storage building.”

Valerio designed the office building for branding and design firm Lipson Alport Glass Associates. In 2012, a larger branding firm gobbled up the company and decided to get rid of the building. Colliers broker Chris Cummins told the Tribune that the building is too small for companies currently seeking office space.

Most Northbrook village officials who’ve reviewed the LifeStorage plan also are convinced the building no longer is suited for offices. With a senior living complex nearby and a 300-unit apartment project in the works, village Trustee James Karagianis told the Tribune that a new storage facility would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

More storage in Northbrook

At least one other storage facility is underway in Northbrook. Metro Self Storage is seeking approval to renovate a former factory at 2121 Shermer Road into a 57,000-square-foot facility with 843 units.

If LifeStorage’s proposed project is built, the facility would be the company’s 28th location in Illinois.

Last fall, LifeStorage secured $120 million in venture capital from private equity firm TPG Real Estate to help finance the storage operator’s expansion. In addition, the company obtained a $100 million revolving line of credit from Citigroup.

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Alexander Harris