More than 600 customers’ belongings are in limbo at Waikiki Self Storage in Honolulu. Early last week, managers phoned customers and asked them to come and collect their belongings as soon as possible, because there was a danger that the company would have to shut down. Hawaii News Now reported that its sources said that the owner owed back rent on the facility.
“There was someone who came in and posted a note on the door,” said Waikiki’s manager, Jenny Rodrigues. “We were all shocked.” Waikiki’s corporate office informed reporters that the notice on the door was an eviction notice, and commented that the landlord had raised the rent to an amount that the company could not afford. So, over the weekend of Jan. 16-17, the company asked staff members to clean up and prepare the business to leave the premises. One staff member reported that all the lights were taken from around the walls. Staff began calling tenants and asking them to come in and empty their units.
“Got the call around noon,” said Sue Santos, one of Waikiki’s customers. “I quickly got down here, and when I got down here, I went immediately to the office, which kind of alarmed me because their whole office was gone.”
But last Wednesday, the company worked something out–managers found another self-storage company to partner with, to help pay the rent.
Staff members began phoning their 600 customers–again. “I just got a phone call about two hours ago from my corporate offices in California,” a staff member told a customer as a Hawaii News Now reporter listened. “We will not be closing, we will…be staying open.”
“We’re waiting for the final one hundred percent yes, we’re not closing but the word is there,” confirmed Rodrigues.
But although Waikiki Self Storage had heard from its corporate offices in California that they would not be closing, the landlord had yet to confirm the arrangement. Its customers have been left waiting and wondering. “It’s kind of hard to figure out,” Santos worried. “Should you trust it?”
Waikiki Self Storage has a year left on its lease. It has been in its present location for about five years.