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Self-Storage Operator Bee Safe Storage of North Carolina Slows Southeast Expansion


Update 9/27/17 – Bee Safe Storage has decided to scale back its self-storage development in the Southeast due to oversupply in some markets. The pivot includes pulling the plug on a 4-acre project at the corner of Tarrant Road and Wendover Avenue in Greensboro, Roy Carroll told the source. The company will continue to move forward on five projects planned for the Triad area of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, N.C.

“I think there’s a lot of individuals that have jumped into the self-storage business in the last 18 months, and we’re seeing a lot of market saturation,” Carroll said. “We are long-term players and will deploy our capital when the market fundamentals dictate, but we are pumping the brakes on areas in the Southeast where the development pipeline just doesn’t make sense.”

The Carroll Cos. can afford to be patient because it has the investment capital already available when it decides to pursue a project, Carroll told the source. The company is investing more than $250 million in self-storage development, with more than 30 projects planned for the Southeast.

8/9/16 – Bee Safe Storage received approval last week for a three-story self-storage building at 9021 Chapel Hill Road in Cary, N.C. The town council narrowly approved the 63,402-square-foot facility with a 4-3 vote and placed several conditions on the project, including restricting it to no more than 500 units. Other requirements include low noise generation, and the finished development must closely resemble the renderings presented to the council, according to the source.

“This is the third or fourth storage request we’ve had in a very short period of time,” councilmember Lori Bush said during the Aug. 4 meeting. “In the past, I’ve been vehemently opposed. On the other hand, this seems like the Cadillac or Tesla of storage units, but if and only if the conditions are right for us.”

Roy Carroll’s daughter, Madison, represented the company during the proceedings and assured the council the company planned to build an attractive facility. “It is no coincidence that the exteriors of Bee Safe facilities look like upscale office buildings with upscale finishes,” she said. “The brick and stone exteriors add about $1.2 million to our cost per store, but the upscale and inviting exterior appearance is more important to the brand and our ability to obtain community acceptance in the markets where we want to open new locations.”

Project representatives also argued that environmental and topographical issues on the property make it difficult for other business uses. The current owners have tried to sell the land for 15 years without success, attorney Tom Worth Jr. told the council.

“It is, in the end, a very gigantic box in what is considered a fairly residential area, and I think people who move into that area would not have expected a storage unit to be built near them,” councilmember Jennifer Robinson said in opposition to the development.

Several residents also opposed the project, citing concerns about potential lighting and traffic issues. Tiffanie Taylor, who lives in the nearby Taylor’s Pond subdivision, told the council there are already four self-storage facilities within one mile of the project site and eight within two miles, making the Bee Storage facility unnecessary.

Councilmember Jack Smith supported the development, noting that a trend to build new homes with less square footage has created additional self-storage demand. “I think the world has changed and storage units are becoming more and more critical or essential,” he said during the meeting. “I just think our ability to keep up with that appearance is where our focus should be.”

3/4/16 – Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar, a Greensboro, N.C.-based self-storage operator with two locations, is planning to develop another 18 facilities throughout North Carolina and parts of the Southeast. The success of the company’s first two facilities has been “way beyond expectations,” owner Roy Carroll told the source.

The operator opened its first facility at 1016 Battleground in Greensboro in late 2013. A second Greensboro facility opened at 4435 Jessup Grove Road in 2014. Construction on the company’s third location is scheduled for this year at 702 Sunshine Way, the source reported.

"The whole enclosed self-storage industry has really taken off in the last five years," Carroll said. "I believe people are thinking more and more about self-storage."

Its flagship location is a three-story, climate-controlled facility with 550 units and an 875-square-foot wine cellar. It also features LED lighting, piped-in music and an inviting entryway, according to the source. "We developed this as a place where I would want my wife or daughters to go," Carroll said. "It's a brand we developed with the idea of creating something that's inviting and warm."

Carroll is also founder and CEO of The Carroll Cos., a real estate development firm in business for more than 30 years. The developer has built or has under construction more than 14,000 apartment homes with an asset value of more than $1.4 billion, according to its website. The company has more than $500 million invested in development projects in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Texas.


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