‘Conversion’ the Word of the Day for Many Self Storage Developers

Posted on Nov 26 2013 - 12:24am by Kim Kilpatrick

Back in the 1980s there was a popular Saturday morning television show called Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Part of Pee Wee’s weekly routine was to name a word of the day each week. Everyone would scream every time it was mentioned. While fun and silly the idea was to get kids to learn a new word. Not bad, right? Could you imagine if the same thing were to take place in the self storage industry?

In the real world people wouldn’t actually designate a word of the day and scream anytime it was mentioned, but it is not unheard of for a concept to be learned and embraced. Ever since the economy turned poor in the self storage industry that word—and concept—would be conversion.

During the worst times of the downturn lending institutions were not too eager to approve loans for new construction, but they would approve loans for converting existing structures into self storage facilities. Even though the economy is not as poor as it once was there are still some developers that like to convert structures rather than build new.

For example, the Watertown City Council in New York is considering a proposal to convert a skating ring into a self storage facility. If approved Showtime Skating will be closed and its 22,000 square feet turned into storage units. The city’s Planning Board recommended the special permit needed to carry out the conversion so it will likely be approved.

When you think about what sort of structure might make a good self storage facility a skating rink might not be the first that comes to mind, but when you consider that they are mostly open space it seems much more logical. There is another facility up for consideration in Lady Lake, Florida, but at a rather unique business—a driving range.

A plan has already been presented to the Lady Lake Commission to convert Tree Tops Golf into a self storage facility. If approved the 12.65 acres of land will become home to a 110,000 square foot mini-storage facility

What makes this possible conversion even more interesting is that the original business will not go away entirely. The driving range is going to be pushed back and available by appointment. There is even talk of a batting cage and even a mini-golf course being installed.

So not only will residents have a place to store their belongings thanks to this conversion, they’ll be able to have some fun as well!

Sources Used:

“Skating rink considered for self-storage business.” Watertown Daily Times; 25 November 2013.

“Driving range could be home to storage unit.” Village-News; 19 November 2013.