Conversions Still Common in the Self Storage Industry

Posted on Oct 30 2013 - 11:41pm by Winnie Hsiu

Are you a handy person? When it comes to making something old look new do you have a knack for being able to pound a few nails here and screw in a few bolts there to turn scrap into art? Being able to convert something into something new and better is a talent worth having and one often in demand in the self storage industry.

During the recent economic downturn the self storage industry had a hard time getting approved for financing construction of new self storage facilities. Over the years as the industry started to turn into a solid, reliable investment companies had to figure out how to increase business. Lending institutions were still leery to finance new construction, but they were often willing to approve financing for converting existing structures into self storage facilities.

Financing for new facilities is not as hard to get approved nowadays, but sometimes going new is not possible. Sometimes there is no other choice, but to convert.

Such was the case for Gotham Mini Storage in New York City. Entering the market in Manhattan is not easy. Real estate is expensive with land costing as much as $800/square foot. An acre in the area Gotham Mini Storage area cost about $58 million!

Of course most (if not all) of the land in Manhattan has already been developed for some purpose at one time or another making it necessary to convert an existing structure if a self storage company wants to enter the market.

Gotham Mini Storage had to just that when it decided to build a facility. The building that was converted to make the facility was over 90 years old.

“The change in the building has been trans-formative to the area. Whereas before, someone walking down this particular block had nothing to look at but a brick wall, we’ve now changed the entire block, creating a stunning street level retail office,” says Stephen Schwartz, one of the owners of Gotham Mini Storage. 

Gotham is not the only company to covert an existing structure into a self storage facility. Storage Neighbor took an abanonded building and converted it into a self storage facility earlier this year.

“The supply of self-storage in Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward is under-supplied, but what attracted us to the location was the opportunity to participate in the adaptive re-use of an abandoned building and take part in the revitalization of the Edgewood corridor,” said Shelby Brennan, the company’s marketing director.

Sources Used: 

“How NYC Storage Company Turned an Older Building into a Self Storage Experience.” Newsday; 30 October 2013.

“New Self-Storage Facility Opens on Edgewood Avenue.” East Atlanta Patch; 22 January 2013.