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Self-Storage Conversion Case Study: Life Storage in Frederick, MD

Getting approval for a self-storage project can take months in some jurisdictions, sometimes even years. Developers seeking a faster route to facility opening are turning to conversion opportunities. The following is a case study of project in Frederic, Maryland, completed by Diamond Point Development.

June 29, 2023

2 Min Read
Life Storage Conversion Project in Frederick, Maryland
Life Storage in Frederick, Maryland

Diamond Point Development LLC, in partnership with The Ardent Cos., recently converted the former Frederick Indoor Sports Complex in Frederick, Maryland, to self-storage. The project at 1845 Brookfield Court is the first “green,” climate-controlled storage facility in the city. Designed by SAA Architects and built by national contractor EDC, the renovated structure offers 75,000 square feet of rentable space.

A Plan Forms

A conversion wasn’t in the plans when Diamond Point began this particular development journey. Rather, the company was searching for land that would be suitable for a ground-up construction project. Upon review, the team realized there was an 18-month backlog of zoning and entitlement petitions in front of city officials. This led to a change in strategy, and they began searching for properties that wouldn’t require any entitlement work but could accommodate at least 100,000 square feet of self-storage.

Last year, Diamond Point came across the 50,000-square-foot sports complex, which was on the market. After examining it, the team determined that by adding a mezzanine level, it could accommodate climate-controlled self-storage with only internal renovations and reach its targeted floor area. They just had to be careful not to make any exterior modifications to the site, as that would cause a delay in site-plan approval.

The developer purchased the property in May 2022, then embarked on two months of pre-construction planning and eight months of construction. The property received a Certificate of Occupancy and opened for business in March 2023 under the Life Storage brand.

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The former Frederick Indoor Sports Complex in Frederick, Maryland,
which Diamond Point Development converted to self-storage

 

A Green Bonus

The purchase of the Frederick property included 1,300 solar panels, which contributed greatly to the feasibility of the project. In fact, 100% of the energy used at the new Life Storage will be offset by solar production. The energy costs of a comparable facility can easily exceed $25,000 annually. In fact, the panels generate so much clean electricity that Diamond Point can is able to send excess energy back to the utility company.

Speed to market is critical when it comes to capitalizing on unmet self-storage demand. By bypassing the full entitlement process as well as any site work, Diamond Point was able to bring this facility to life, start to finish, in just 10 months as opposed to two-plus years for a traditional ground-up development.

Based in Roswell, Georgia, Diamond Point Development is a real estate investment, development and asset-management company led by brothers Aaron and Jason Sommer. It has properties and development projects in Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York.

Founded in 2012, The Ardent Cos. is a privately held real estate firm focused on opportunistic and diversified investment strategies. It manages a commercial portfolio of 5.5 million square feet.

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