Ottawa panel recommends use of former Bridal Elegance as self-storage, laundromat

KEEPS.Rentals says it does not plan any outdoor storage

The Ottawa Plan Commission recommended for approval Monday a conditional use permit to KEEPS.Rentals Self Storage allowing it, pending City Council approval, to use the former location of Bridal Elegance at 205 W. Etna Rd. as a self-storage space and laundromat.

KEEPS.Rentals President Doug Olson said his plan will bring new life to a building that has sat empty for some time with a process similar to what he’s already done in Sycamore. KEEPS.Rental’s only other location is in an old grocery store that had sat empty.

“We don’t have any outdoor storage and we don’t do any big trucks or vans or boats or RVs or anything like that,” Olson said. “Everything we do is very upscale. The floors are sealed completely so no dust or moisture seeps through, and humidity is controlled separately from the temperature so we never have any mold or humidity problems.”

The storage unit entrances will all be inside the building with no outdoor access, and those who rent units inside the building will typically only have access from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. although there are exceptions. KEEPS.Rentals already does not allow any corrosive, odorous or toxic materials in its units.

Olson said the locks are all digitally controlled. In general, the outfit is largely run digitally: The laundromat runs off of phones, where payment can be made without having to touch anything on the washing machines.

The laundromat will be separate from the storage units in a 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot section. The two businesses are expected to share a main office.

Olson’s deal to purchase southern 3.73 acres of the land depends on approval from the City Council. KEEPS.Rentals will be purchasing it from the Ferracuti family.

Alexis Ferracuti spoke to the Plan Commission at the meeting.

“We made a really pointed effort to find someone we thought would put the time and effort into Ottawa the way our family has on all of our properties,” Ferracuti said. “We wanted to make sure this went to someone who we thought would take care of the community.”

The Ferracutis will remain the owners of the northern portion of the property where China Inn is located.

This deal is contingent upon approval from the City Council. It is expected on the council’s agenda at the Sept. 6 meeting.