Update 7/20/16 – Storage Squad hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on July 8 to celebrate its first self-storage development. Expected to open in February, the facility at 1401 Dryden Road will include three buildings, one on the left of the site and two on the right facing New York State Route 13. An old house on the property will be demolished by the fire department, according to the source.
Although the project faced opposition last fall during a zoning hearing, Nick Huber’s dad, Tim, who has a background in construction, stepped in to help appease the zoning board. He suggested the bigger facility be split into two buildings, the source reported. “We’d never be able to make this leap in our career this early without him,” Nick Huber said. “We feel really blessed to be back here. We love this town, we love this county, and we’re really happy to be a part of it.”
In addition to its proximity to Cornell University, the property is near Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College. “We did research on all the markets that we’re in, all the way from Champaign [Illinois] to Boston, and this is the one that made the most sense,” said Huber, adding that the area lacked a state-of-the-art facility that included a 24-hour kiosk, climate control and paved driveways.
Hagberg and Huber, who graduated in 2012, launched Storage Squad between their junior and senior academic years. Huber is a two-time All-American in the decathlon with four school records; Hagberg is a five-time Ivy League champion in the high hurdles, the source reported.
Since founding the company, the duo have recruited family members and friends to assist in operating the business. In 2015, Storage Squad stored 42,660 items and served 8,550 students. Its valet-storage operation now covers 36 college campuses in 10 states.
9/30/15 – Dan Hagberg and Nick Huber, owners of valet-style self-storage company Storage Squad, are seeking zoning approval to build a new facility in Dryden, N.Y. The proposed site on New York State Route 13 is close to Cornell University where the duo launched their business as undergraduates in 2011. They presented their proposal during a town board meeting on Sept. 17. Although they had expected to get final site approval, the project must first receive a special permit approved by the zoning board, according to the source.
Storage Squad is eyeing a parcel of land neighboring the New York State Electric and Gas Corp. headquarters. The facility will comprise 79,600 square feet of storage space in five buildings. Phase one will include 400 units, followed by another 315 units in phase two, to be built three to four years later, according to the source. The facility’s design will include a Cornell-inspired clock tower, brick and ivy, the source reported.
“We’re trying to build the first and only aesthetically pleasing storage facility in Tompkins County,” Huber said, noting few properties in the area have paved asphalt drives or gated entrances. “And none of them have split-block façade. We want to have ivy growing up on our [brick walls] to make it really nice to drive by. What [a lot of people] don’t like about self-storage is it doesn’t look nice, so we’re trying to make it something where people enjoy driving past our business.”
During the board meeting, town supervisor Mary Ann Sumner said she liked the project but wasn’t usually “a fan of storage space,” the source reported. There was also a discussion about whether the project would bring increased traffic to the area.
“The traffic is actually very minimal. We found it’ll be about six cars per day per 100 units,” Huber said. “We’re going to have about 700 rental units, so that’ll be about 40-some cars a day. This road sees about 18,000 cars a day, so this will have a very minimal impact on the current traffic flow.”
Huber said Storage Squad is excited to open a facility near the area in which they launched their company. “I think we can build a very attractive space here and provide valuable tax dollars for the town. I know it’s a big project, but we’ve done our homework and we’re going to do this the right way,” he said.
Storage Squad began as a valet-storage service for Cornell students. The service offers “free boxes, pickup and delivery, and affordable storage,” according to the company website.
Customers can schedule the service online. The company’s operation now includes 20 college campuses in five states.