StorageMart is being forced to shut down a storage facility in Brooklyn, NY — one of the country’s most competitive self-storage markets — to make way for part of an 8 million-square-foot real estate project.

Empire State Development Corp., a New York state agency, initiated eminent domain proceedings in August to seize several properties within the Atlantic Yards development zone, a 22-acre tract where a huge mixed-use project is being built by real estate developer Forest City Ratner.

The state agency also is seizing three residential buildings, a vacant lot and two other commercial properties. Compensation for the affected property owners hasn’t been disclosed. A previous court decision gave state officials permission to take over the properties.

90-day notice

Columbia, MO-based StorageMart has owned the 56,637-square-foot facility at 718 Atlantic Ave. since 2000. Tenants at the 1,109-unit facility have 90 days to move out.

On Sept. 18, StorageMart posted information about the closing:

The New York State Urban Development Corporation dba Empire State Development (ESD) has been trying for years to take over our property located at 718 Atlantic Ave as part of the Atlantic Yards project. Unfortunately it finally succeeded on August 29, 2014…

The ESD has taken ownership of the building and is providing tenants of the building with a 90-day notice to vacate their storage unit. As per the ESD, tenants must vacate their storage unit by December 18, 2014.

Pacific Park Brooklyn
When finished, the Pacific Park Brooklyn development will encompass 8 million square feet.

StorageMart President Cris Burnam couldn’t be reached for comment.

StorageMart is offering a free month of storage to tenants who relocate to one of the operator’s three nearby facilities.

“Over the past few weeks, StorageMart has been advocating on our tenants’ behalf to get … a reasonable date for emptying the building. We understand the frustration in having to find another storage facility and moving on such short notice,” the company said on its blog.

Pacific Park Brooklyn

The project, recently rebranded as Pacific Park Brooklyn, has been in the works for years. Forest City Ratner and its Chinese partner Greenland Group recently said the next phase of development will include a residential building with 300 units for low- and middle-income tenants. A market-rate condo building is slated to break ground around the same time.

According to the project’s website, Pacific Park Brooklyn will feature 247,000 square feet of retail, 336,000 square feet of commercial space, 6,430 housing units and an 8-acre public park.

World-renowned architect Frank Gehry designed the project’s master plan. The project is anchored by the Barclays Center arena, which was completed in 2012 at a cost of $1 billion. The arena is home to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. All told, the price tag for the project will approach $5 billion.

Alexander Harris