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May 1, 2007

3 Min Read

Boomerang Self Storage Automation introduces Automated Locker Retrieval (ALR) technology to take the storage industry to the next competitive level. Unlike conventional multistory storage centers, an ALR-equipped facility allows the customer to access the unit on demand via a ground-floor bay regardless of the units location in the building. Boomerangs patent-pending process automatically retrieves the unit after the tenant enters his access code at a ground-floor kiosk.

Stan Checketts, developer of the ALR system and founder of Logan, Utah-based Boomerang, is new to the self-storage industry but has 20 years experience as serving the amusement-ride industry. He saw an opportunity to eliminate wasted space at a storage site by reducing the need for parking and loading areas. Checkettss extensive experience with control systems, hydraulics, pneumatics and precision manufacturing has been integral to the development of the ALR system, says Chris Mulvihill, director of business development for Boomerang.

More Storage in Less Space

ALR technology allows a storage developer to maximize land use while providing the convenience of drive-up access to 100 percent of the facilitys units. A 100-unit Boomerang facility can operate with only three bays taking up only 1,200 square feet of parking and loading area, Mulvihill says.

The ALR system consists of a steel framework with a trolley that retrieves the storage lockers. This framework also functions as the buildings structural frame. Systems can be set up with any number of loading bays, but the recommendation is two to three bays for each 93 units. These buildings can be configured several ways and are engineered to be built as high as 18 stories.

The company provides the entire building including roof, locker units, retrieval system, access bays, doors, kiosks and software, insulation and skin (façade). Once all permits are secured and the site work is complete, standard installation takes about one month.

Boomerang can erect the building on a turnkey basis or the developer can order a kit for self-assembly. The cost to build a Boomerang facility is competitive with conventional multistory construction, Mulvihill says.

Customer Convenience

A Boomerang facility is designed for 100 percent drive-up access. A customer enters his security code into a kiosk at the loading bay activating the trolley to retrieve his unit. The average wait for the tenant to receive his locker is less than two minutes. When the locker arrives, the external loading bay doors open.

Standard Boomerang units are 8-by-12-by-8 and can accommodate up to 5,000 pounds. Lockers can also be partitioned into 6-by-8, 4-by-8 or 4-by-6 units.

Developers Delight

A Boomerang facility offers multiple benefits to storage developers. Where floor-area ratio restricts site development, a Boomerang center may allow more stories since the owner can claim the building is a one-story warehouse. The floors in the structure are units stacked on top of each other. Also, installations can be relocated making temporary land use possible.

Because customers do not occupy the building, there are code and compliance advantages such as the elimination of the need for fire escapes, Mulvihill says.

The reduction in loading areas and total elimination of elevators, hallways and stairwells results in savings in ongoing operations and maintenance expenses. Internal security cameras or interior lighting systems are not needed. And crime is reduced since customers cannot break into other units.

A significant portion of the investment in a Boomerang storage center can be classified as equipment and written off more quickly than a conventional building resulting in tax advantages, Mulvihill says.

Because a full-time onsite manager is not required, Boomerang accommodates smaller projects in mixed-use environments such as apartment complexes, shopping centers and commercial office parks. By targeting smaller projects in these environments, the developer can bring the storage unit to the prospective customer rather than making the tenant come to them, Mulvihill says.

Checketts transferred his philosophy of designing amusement rides that are safe, reliable, easy to operate and require low maintenance to Boomerangs manufacturing and building ARS storage facilities, Mulvihill says.

For more information, call 877.538.BOOM (2666), or visit www.boomerangsystems.com

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