A new storage facility on Flat Shoals Road will feature a 100-foot-tall clock tower, developer David Miles told the News. The tower will be one of Rockdale County's tallest structures, Conyers' planning director said.
The business, projected to open late next year at 1050 Flat Shoals Road, will be called Storage Time, and the clock tower will serve as an advertising sign playing off the name.
"This'll be the first clock tower I've built...but the visibility issue is something I wanted to deal with," said Miles.
"The tower is allowed to be 100 feet and is in accordance with the Gateway Village-Urban Village zoning district," Conyers planning director Marvin Flanigan said in an email.
The clock tower will be among the county's tallest structures, probably dwarfed only by utility structures such as radio antennas, Flanigan later told the News. It would be taller than many local church steeples and similar commercial signs along I-20.
Flanigan said the tallest habitable building in Rockdale is probably the Bank of America offices nearby on Highway 138 at around 60 feet. The clock tower will be classified as signage, not as a habitable structure.
Miles, who is based in Augusta, got zoning approval for the storage facility in December 2012, but has met with various weather and utility delays. He said he has begun site preparation work and recently received a building permit.
The zoning approval came after lengthy negotiations over the facility's design, which apparently did not yet include the clock tower. The city wanted to make sure the facility would match the Gateway Village design guidelines, which call for nice-looking exterior finishes, such as stone.
Miles said that those design rules inspired him to add the clock tower, because otherwise passers-by might think it is a residential complex.
"If the clock tower wasn't there, you wouldn't know what it is," he said.
At the city's suggestion, Miles said, he is digging up and saving "native rocks" on the site to use in the facility's design. He aims to meet all of the agreed-upon design requirements.
"It's not going to look like a storage facility," he said. "I can make it look like a Taj Mahal if they want."