Reprinted with permission from "The Storage Facilitator" blog.
By Janet Haney
Entrepreneurs Alex Rozkin and Vitali Barkouski recently seized an opportunity to create a self-storage facility surrounded by a million-dollar view. The two Russian immigrants and longtime friends knew there was a shortage of truck and bus parking in the San Francisco Bay Area, so they leased some land on the manmade Treasure Island, smack-dab in the middle of the Bay Bridge.
“One of our key business points is that when we started Island Park Storage, we called up a whole bunch of storage yards and most of them were sold out,” Rozkin said. “We’re capitalizing on the lack of capacity.”
They’re also capitalizing on the scenery and proximity of two major U.S. cities. Island Park Storage’s setting boasts breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline and the entire San Francisco Bay. It’s just seven minutes from downtown San Francisco and 15 minutes from downtown Oakland, making it appealing to thousands of customers. Of course, those time estimates don’t account for the frequent traffic jams that snarl the highly congested bridge, which carries about 270,000 cars a day.
Still, the outdoor, drive-in location might be ideal for some. Plus, Rozkin said, Island Park Storage is less expensive than its competitors. “First thing we did was figure out how much everybody else charges,” he said. “We realized right away that we could be a bit cheaper than the companies in San Francisco and more expensive than companies in the East Bay. Our real estate here is cheaper, too.”
Open Space for Storage
Launched in January, Island Park Storage already has tour buses, shuttles, limos, RVs, cars and outdoor storage containers of various sizes dotting the 2-acre strip of land. Pricing ranges from $90 for a basic car to $280 for a big bus.
“The open space on Treasure Island is one of the biggest advantages,” Rozkin said. “Other bus-parking lots don’t have this kind of space. It’s much more compact. Other people don’t have a 40-foot pullout like we have.”
The facility also offers self-storage containers measuring 8 feet wide and ranging from 10 to 40 feet deep. The compartments start at $150 a month and go up to $330 a month. Rozkin said the outside storage containers are waterproof, despite sitting on the grass. “We have a 50-50 mix between residential and business customers,” he said.