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Multi-Story Storage: Building 'Up' Allows a Washington Developer to Maximize Land and Highlight Upscale Elements

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Interior Design

Inside, bright, wide hallways welcome customers, while music plays on overhead hallway speakers. Extra-wide, white soffit panels pick up much of the light from each fixture and reflect it downward, and white doors reflect even more light to make the hallways brighter and eliminate dark corners.

With such a monochromatic scheme, the Gilroys anticipated customers might easily get lost among the many hallways. They installed color-coded metal strips to the header and sides of each unit to help customers navigate the floors.  Each tenant receives an access-card holder that corresponds with the color of his section.

An interior designer created a free-span office layout featuring finished materials. The area behind the front desk showcases advanced security features, including eight 27-inch LCD screens playing back images from 49 security cameras in and around the building. The desk features two manager workstations. There’s a slat-walled retail area on either side of the desk.

Wine Storage

When the Gilroys began looking for ways to diversify their facility’s revenue stream without straying too far from the core business, they turned their focus toward wine storage. A review of the immediate market showed the four existing wine-storage facilities in the greater Seattle area were virtually full. The higher-end demographics of Bellevue seemed a perfect match for such a venture.

Wine Storage Bellevue occupies 8,000 square feet of the new four-story, $7.5 million facility. A special area of the second floor sets the wine storage apart, combining elements of wine culture with security expertise. All-steel lockers with steel latches and bezel cylinder locks were chosen over the plywood and padlocks used by competitors. After extensive research, the Gilroys created 418 lockers ranging in capacity from 10 to 200 cases. At full capacity, more than 19,000 cases of wine can be stored on the site.

The wine storage is temperature- and humidity-controlled, and maintains a fairly constant temperature of 55 degrees and 65 percent relative humidity. The settings are recorded via a monitoring device connected to the Internet. The sensors also alert the manager via e-mail if the room deviates from the designated settings. Oenophiles enter the wine-storage area through a custom, hand-carved door of deep mahogany and proceed to the dedicated elevator operated by keycard.

Perhaps even more significant than the wine-storage area is the wine-resource center. It’s a 1,000-square-foot, Tuscan-inspired oasis where customers can hold small, private tasting events or wine-club meetings, or simply share a favorite wine with a fellow connoisseur. It features custom leather and wood furnishings, custom stonework, old-world-style plaster walls, and custom woodwork.

In June 2010, the Gilroys opened Stor-House as a reflection of their deep commitment too their business and the community they serve. Despite development and construction challenges, they believe their residential design, combined with exceptional features, will elevate their first multi-story development in the marketplace.

Greg Moore is principal of Moore Design Associates, formed in 2002 to specialize in self-storage design services. Moore has several years of design experience including high-rise office buildings, retail design and planning, multi-family housing, and institutional design. To reach him, e-mail .

Stor-House Project Team

Owner: Gilroy Family Bellevue LLC

Architect: Peter Schroeder, Peter Schroeder Architects

General contractor: Northward Construction

Structural engineering: B&T Design and Engineering Inc. 

Landscape architect: Moore Design Associates

Civil engineer: J3ME

Storage consultant: Moore Design and Associates

Doors and hallway systems: Janus International

Building systems: Kiwi II Construction

Office design: LG Interiors

Security installation: Access Systems Plus

Landscape: Holly Moore Landscape Architecture

Site-work contractor: RPD Construction

Concrete slabs and decks: A&S Development

Masonry: Allied Masonry         

Site work contractor: RPD Construction

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