Recently, Eastland Storage in North Versailles, Pennsylvania, held its grand opening. The new facility has 99 storage units that range from 25 square feet in size to 150. A few people have already rented units. The owners hope that as the weather warms and as people spring clean their homes that more units will be rented.
Greg Michaels is the owner of the facility. Over this past year, Michaels has worked hard to get this new business up and running. He had purchased the property in 200 and initially had an educational book distribution company in the building.
But with the change in the market, Michaels decided to closed down that branch of his book distribution business and consolidate it with his location in Monroeville. Then, he started looking for a different business that he could put in his building.
Before he bought the building, it used to be a furniture building. Because of the lack of parking, Michaels knew that he couldn’t put in a regular retail business. He thought that the building would make a good self storage facility but he wanted to do his homework to be sure.
Michaels enlisted the help of Allen Wagner who was an officer for the code enforcement board and who provided demographic information about the area and the potential client base. Michaels learned that the town had a high concentration of apartments and also a sizable elderly population – both populations that could benefit from having access to self storage. Then, Michaels joined the Self Storage Association. He met with vendors. He went to trade shows. He created a well thought out business plan
When he decided that he could make a go of the business in that location, it was full steam ahead. He worked with Betco Inc., a North Carolina-based manufacturing company, to have them build the steel storage bays. Michaels felt that it was important to give his business to a company in the United States.
Michaels felt that one of the nice things about the location was that it was near the old Eastland Mall across the East Pittsburgh-McKesport Boulevard. Even though the mall is gone, everybody in the city remembers the mall so directing people to his self storage business won’t be a problem.
The self storage facility has a well-lit and enclosed loading dock and the building is climate controlled. Michaels plans on having a self-registration kiosk at the entry of the building, month-to-month leasing, and a free moving van for local use.
“Business week ends on high note in North Versailles Township.” Trib Live; 22 March 2014
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