Whale Mural on Boston’s Planet Self Storage Building to Be Obstructed by Residential Development

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A giant mural of killer whales on the side of a multi-story Planet Self Storage facility in Boston’s South End will soon be obstructed to motorists traveling along the Southeast Expressway by a new residential development. The frame of the new building being constructed next door to the storage facility is already interfering with views of the mural, according to the source.

The popular artwork has adorned the side of the self-storage building since 1998. It was painted by commissioned artist Ron Deziel. The mural has become a landmark for motorists and brought notoriety to Planet Self Storage.

The residential development will feature two side-by-side buildings as part of the Troy Boston project headed by New Jersey-based developer Normandy Real Estate Partners. The property will also include 6,000 square feet of retail space.

When the Normandy development project was announced in 2012, Bryce Grefe, an owner of Storage Investment Management Inc. (SIMI), which has managed the Planet Self Storage location since August 1998, said he was hopeful some of the mural would remain visible. Although he acknowledged the construction would impede the building’s visibility, Grefe said he didn’t 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.

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