Life Storage Converts Former Industrial Building to Self-Storage in Milwaukee

Life Storage Inc., the real estate investment trust (REIT) formerly known as Sovran Self Storage Inc., has completed its conversion of a former industrial building near downtown Milwaukee to self-storage. It’s the company’s second facility in the city. The REIT also has a location at 4565 N. Green Bay Ave.

Life Storage Inc., the real estate investment trust (REIT) formerly known as Sovran Self Storage Inc., has completed its conversion of a former industrial building near downtown Milwaukee to self-storage. It’s the company’s second facility in the city. The REIT also has a location at 4565 N. Green Bay Ave.

The facility at 420 W. St. Paul Ave. in the Historic Third Ward offers more than 1,000 climate-controlled storage units, including more than 250 smaller units designed for college students, according to a source. Property features include 24-hour keypad access, a ground-level, interior loading area for customer vehicles, two new elevators, and free Wi-Fi.

“We are so proud of this facility,” said Richard Green, area manager. “It offers all the amenities of a state-of-the-art storage facility, and also retains the character of the downtown Milwaukee community.”

The seven-story, 124,245-square-foot building was constructed in 1918 and originally served as a warehouse for a Boston Store department store before becoming a records-storage warehouse in the 1990s. Most recently, it was occupied by Iron Mountain Inc., an enterprise information-management services company.

Anderson Ashton Inc., a design/build general contractor based in New Berlin, Wis., was the general contractor for the redevelopment project. The team was able to restore the original hardwood floors despite the thousands of indentions left by the footing of Iron Mountain’s 30,000 pounds of document-storage shelving, a source reported.

In an effort to reduce the building’s energy footprint, the facility includes more than 500 LED light fixtures and 21 new HVAC units. The company also insulated and closed more than 100 exterior perforations, a source reported.

“Restoring a century-old building of this size comes with its fair share of challenges,” said Brian Fisher, business-development manager for Anderson Ashton. “Creating a modern storage facility while staying true to the aesthetics synonymous with the [nearby] Historic Third Ward was a struggle, but well worth it in the end.”

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Life Storage operates approximately 650 self-storage facilities in 29 states under the Life Storage and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage brands. Its portfolio of owned and managed facilities comprises about 45 million square feet. The company announced its intent to operate as Life Storage following its $1.3 billion acquisition of LifeStorage LP this summer.

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