Former Department-Store Warehouse in NY Converted Into Self-Storage Facility

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A former department-store warehouse in Buffalo, N.Y., converted into a self-storage facility is slated to open in September.

Storage Central, 290 Ellicott St., is one of several downtown buildings that have been converted into new developments by J. Roger Trettel of 1876 Buehl Block LLC.

Made from steel and concrete construction, the three-story building includes 225 climate-controlled units in a range of sizes. In addition, the warehouse’s fur storage vault has been converted into several large climate-controlled records-storage units.

Trettel acquired the former Hengerer’s Department Store in 2010. The plan for the building originally involved creating a mixed-use development with 20 residential units on the upper floors, commercial space an indoor enclosed parking. However, the development changed after a financial analysis showed adding residential would be cost-prohibitive and wouldn’t qualify for historic-preservation tax credits.

Trettel and his team, who’ve rehabbed three other downtown buildings, determined self-storage would be a good fit for the market.

In 2008, Trettel tackled a $1 million-plus renovation of the Buehl Block Building, a circa-1875 structure on the corner of Broadway and Ellicott Street. The four-story building was converted into loft apartments with ground-floor retail and office space.

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