As of this writing, I’m freshly returned from our latest tradeshow, the ISS Reno Expo, where I sat in on most of the Development & Construction education track. The Reno attendees were overwhelmingly would-be developers doing their homework. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a group of focused folks, eyes on the prize, gulping in words of wisdom from our esteemed speakers.
Industry consultant Jim Chiswell kicked off his “Is There Any Room Left to Build?” seminar by assuring listeners their presence was a golden investment. Deciding not to build a self-storage project, he explained, could save them a bundle. Like the rest of our presenters, Chiswell echoed the new industry motto, “The days of ‘build it and they’ll come’ are over.” The storage goose continues to lay golden eggs, but she’s considerably more high maintenance. If you want to skip to the bank later, prepare to smash your rose-colored glasses, get out your pencil and calculator, and painstakingly build a team of truth-loving professionals.
Yep, the developer who ignores feasibility studies, underestimates P&Z hurdles, and hires inexperienced contractors is likely doomed. Though a few newcomers seem to perpetually trot under a shimmering lucky star, the rest of us need rely on smarts and education.
In this issue of ISS, we focus on construction. Consider these articles a mini-seminar to enjoy without the joys of air travel. (I swear, if that muumuu-wearing woman in the Southwest “C” line bumped me like an abused slot machine one more time, I would have checked her baggage permanently.) Our experts tell you how to select a contractor, doors, computer systems, portable buildings, climate control and more. Andy Hyde’s excellent overview on overbuilding explains the importance of understanding individual markets, a point underscored by our Reno speakers.
And finally, we profile Atlanta’s Dunwoody Self Storage project, scheduled to open in October (early framework is featured on our cover). At the ISS Vegas Expo, many of you expressed interest in knowing more about this multistory construction, so we’ve detailed the developer’s progress from conception to steely reality. I hope our case study informs your own goals.
Up, up and away!