A popular mural that has graced the side of a multi-story Planet Self Storage facility in Boston’s South End since 1998 may become obstructed by a new development project planned for the parking lot next door. The giant mural depicting killer whales has become a landmark for motorists traveling along the Southeast Expressway and has provided the self-storage business with tremendous exposure since it was painted by commissioned artist Ron Deziel.
Normandy Real Estate Partners has plans to build an 11-story hotel and an 18-story apartment complex that would likely block a significant portion of the mural.
Bryce Grefe, an owner of Storage Investment Management Inc. (SIMI), which has managed the Planet Self Storage location since August 1998, said he is hopeful some of the mural will remain visible. Although he acknowledged the construction will impede the building’s visibility, Grefe said he does not expect the project to adversely affect the facility’s business.
The current artwork is actually the second whale mural to adorn the storage building. The first was covered by the building’s owners after extensive repair work was necessary. The current mural also was covered for nearly two years between 2007 and 2009 in favor of an iPod advertisement.
Planet Self Storage operates several facilities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. SIMI offers facility-management and consulting services in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Its principals also own self-storage facilities.