Extreme Makeover: the Self Storage Edition

Posted on Sep 28 2011 - 5:10pm by Winnie Hsiu

In a world undergoing strenuous economic times, finding funding for new projects can be difficult. With all the uncertainty, there is not much safety in making such a large investment. That has forced entrepreneurs to become creative and make use of existing structures, especially in the self storage industry.

Using existing structures helps cut down on the cost of getting a self storage facility up and functioning. It is usually cheaper to renovate than construct. However, that can sometimes require prospective self storage owners to take a structure through an extreme makeover of sorts.

Such was the case recently when B.E. Webbe, a self storage company in the UK, decided to take an old, out of use factory and transform it into a brand new, top of the line self storage facility.

They did not tear the entire structure down, like the ‘Extreme Makeover’ television show does, but they had to do a lot. An old building that had been empty for a year, it had been the target for local vandals.  The building was old enough that it still had asbestos in the roof.

Over time and over 1 million pounds later, the facility had brand new floors, loading bays, new doors, offices—in short, it went from being an eyesore to being a structure that the community could be proud of as well as one that the company could  turn a profit off of (in time).

“Our aim is to provide low-cost, high quality storage space in different size units on flexible terms,” said B.E. Webbe director Richard Blount. “This is what we have achieved by providing this much-needed facility to the local community in the Sutton and Mansfield area.”

Self storage companies often get stereotyped as being unattractive in the community, a generalization that more often than not is far from the truth. Often times, like with the aforementioned B.E. Webbe facility, they take structures that are eye sores and turn them into something presentable.

Many owners take so much pride in the appearance of their facility that they receive awards based on appearance. LifeStorage, a Chicago area self storage company, was recently awarded the 2011 Beautification Award (the Mokena facility, to be exact).

“We’re proud to win the award. It’s not just about landscaping though. We recognize the Beautification Award is a way to encourage others to improve their appearance, and for us, winning is just a way for us to help keep Mokena a beautiful place to live and work,” store manager Kelly Butt said.


Sources Used:

“Storage depot brings Sutton factory to life.” Chad.co.uk; 28 September 2011.

“LifeStorage-Self Storage Mokena To Receive Beautification Award.” Digital Journal; 28 September 2011.