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Uncle Bob’s Self Storage Renovates Former Otis Elevator Building in Chicago


Uncle Bob’s Self Storage is nearing completion on a conversion project that will transform the former Otis Elevator building in Chicago into its newest facility. Built in 1926 and vacant since 2009, the structure at 1625 S. Ashland Ave. spans a full city block between 16th and 17th streets in the Pilsen neighborhood. The location is scheduled to open on April 1.

The facility will offer three stories of self-storage including 726 climate-controlled units in various sizes. “This is a comprehensive rehab of a historic Chicago structure, and we are thrilled to be part of the evolution of this neighborhood,” said John S. Mengel, president of JSM Venture Inc., the Chicago-based self-storage developer handling the renovation.

The project included pouring new concrete floors, installing new HVAC and lighting, the addition of a service elevator, and the replacement of all exterior windows and doors. Interior loading areas are equipped with large roll-up doors with keypad access at the north and south ends of the facility. There is also drive-in access to a ground-level loading area for passenger vehicles and a loading dock for commercial vehicles, JSM Venture officials said in a press release.

The facility will serve the areas of Little Italy, the Near West Side and University Village. The property is the 12th Chicago-area location added by Uncle Bob’s in the last two years. “The great people of Chicago have treated us well, and we’re pleased to be able to serve them in this growing area,” said Matt Moore, area manager of Uncle Bob’s Chicago portfolio.

JSM Venture specializes in the conversion and redevelopment of existing industrial properties. The company targets in-fill urban locations that have an unmet demand for self-storage. Since 2005, it has acquired and developed more than 1 million square feet of self-storage space.

Uncle Bob’s Self Storage is owned by Sovran Self Storage Inc., a real estate investment trust that acquires and manages self-storage facilities. The company operates more than 450 facilities in 25 states.


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