Like its name implies, Downtown Self Storage is in the heart of downtown Huntsville, Alabama. Like many other self storage facilities, it has climate controlled units, a drive-in loading bay, moving and packing supplies, delivery and package acceptance, and high-speed Internet access. Their team members strive to provide customers with the best customer service in the industry.
However, Downtown Self Storage is taking their business one step further. They are subleasing their ground floor units to budding entrepreneurs. The project, known as the Clinton Row Project, will be a retail startup business incubator for the downtown area in Huntsville. This experiment will give beginning entrepreneurs a chance to test whether their retail business can be successful in a downtown setting.
There are a wide variety of types of businesses that are sub-leasing the storage units. John Whitman, a visiting professor of entrepreneurship and leadership at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has a volunteer organization called Huntsville Open Tech Coffee. That organization will launch Business Button, which will be a public service company. Whitman indicated that more information about the business will be forthcoming as soon as “all of the players clear.”
Anne Condit will operate Live Easy in one of the units. Her business will sell arts and handcrafted goods created by local artists. Christina Wegman will sublease a unit so she can sell her paintings and prints. Another unit will be a gallery where artists can display and sell their works for up to two weeks at a time. Various artists will rotate and take turns using the space to sell their art work.
The tenants will be allowed to customize the interior of their unit. They can create a space that will best suit their needs.
Some of the businesses will hold ‘soft’ openings during the month of February. The grand opening will be on March 1.
The building where Downtown Self Storage is housed has had a varied background. At one time it used to be a furniture store. Before that, it was a store that sold farm implements. Now, it is a self storage facility with storage units on the upper levels of the building and small shops on the street level.
The 10X10-foot units will rent for $100 per month – a very affordable price for beginning startup businesses.
“New retail startup business incubator The Clinton Row Project coming to downtown Huntsville.” Al.com; 29 January 2014.