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Business Owner Converts Oil Tank to Self-Storage, Vehicle Storage in South Portland, ME

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Portland Container Co., a mobile-storage startup in Portland, Maine, has launched the self-storage component to its business inside a converted oil tank on Lincoln Street in South Portland. Owner Ben Davis intends to target owners of luxury boats and classic cars to store their valuable toys inside the 80-foot-tall structure. The circular tank is 110 feet in diameter and has been split into a large storage area, two smaller storage spaces and workshop spaces, according to the source. Davis also plans to stack about 100 portable-storage containers on the property.

“We love the idea of repurposing industrial spaces,” Davis told the source. “We’re in the container business. This is just a big container—the ultimate container.”

The tank is currently storing a 42-foot boat, two smaller vessels, a food truck and a couple of personal vehicles. Most of the tenants are clients from Davis’ other business, True Course Yachting Inc., a yacht-delivery and management company, the source reported.

The oil tank is surrounded by more than 24 others used to hold asphalt, jet fuel, oil and other hazardous substances. Its location offers extra security due to a constant presence of law enforcement and Homeland Security officers, Davis said.

Converting the tank to self-storage was the idea of Ed Benjamin, who bought the structure 10 years ago when it became vacant. Benjamin transformed the structure by filling a 6-foot deep underground base with debris from his demolition business and capping it with concrete to create its floor, according to the source. After the ceiling was lowered, the interior was divided into sections and rolling doors installed.

In addition to onsite storage, Portland Container intends to offer portable-storage and moving services to the surrounding area.

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