Automated Self-Storage Facility Opens in Ames, IA

Ames West Side Storage opened in Ames, Iowa, on Oct. 31 as the first automated self-storage facility in the city and the third in the state. Facility owners Steve and Barbara O’Rourke opened the property at 1515 Florida Ave. with one building containing 90 storage units. Plans are underway to add a second building of the same size, according to the source.

Ames West Side Storage opened in Ames, Iowa, on Oct. 31 as the first automated self-storage facility in the city and the third in the state. Facility owners Steve and Barbara O’Rourke opened the property at 1515 Florida Ave. with one building containing 90 storage units. Plans are underway to add a second building of the same size, according to the source.

The O’Roukes have owned the land for nearly 20 years and always planned to build a storage facility there, Steve O’Rourke told the source. Because they still work full-time jobs—Steve is a contractor and Barbara is a nurse—they added a kiosk to handle new rentals and payments. The technology appeals to younger generations, particularly in Ames, which is home to Iowa State University, according to Steve O’Rourke.

The state’s other automated storage facilities, owned by other property owners, are in Des Moines and Iowa City.

Ames West Side Storage features an INSOMNIAC kiosk by Phoenix-based OpenTech Alliance Inc., which offers several kiosk models as well as a call center, online Web and mobile applications, a Self-Storage Cloud, and other self-storage rental and technology solutions. The O’Rourke’s kiosk features the voice of “Megan,” who leads users through the rental process in English or Spanish. In addition to completing new rentals, the ATM-like machine can dispense door locks and tenant insurance upon request. It accepts payments in the form of cash, credit cards and checks.

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