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Former Excavator Finds Success in Self-Storage

Former excavator Roger Copt has found new business success with his self-storage facility, Raritan Self Storage in New Jersey. Copt was in the excavating business for 25 years before he made the transition to storage in 2001.
Copt’s father owned a 2-acre parcel on Route 202, one of which went to a restaurant, the other to Copt. After researching several businesses, he discovered local self-storage facilities were at or near capacity. He decided to open one himself. It was the best thing he could have done, he told the Scarlet Scuttlebutt.

Source: Scarlet Scuttlebutt, Former excavator finds success in storage

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Birmingham, AL, Could Get New Self-Storage and Retail

A $1 million economic-stimulus loan being sought by Main Street Birmingham Inc. could make room for new self-storage and retail space Birmingham, Ala.
The nonprofit organization is facilitating an incentive package that will go before the Birmingham City Council’s finance committee on Monday. If the loan is approved, the group will move forward with a $3.4 million redevelopment plan―led by Birmingham’s The Shopping Center Group―that will turn a 54,000-square-foot empty store into climate-controlled storage.
Three outparcels for restaurant and retail are also planned. The project is expected to create 110 full-time jobs and retain 20 jobs.
The site was formerly home to Bruno’s Supermarket for years, before it closed due to bankruptcy earlier in the year.
Main Street Birmingham is under contract to the City of Birmingham to implement the BEACON program for neighborhood commercial district revitalization.
Source: Birmingham Business Journal, Montclair Bruno's could get $1M retail facelift

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Devon Self Storage to Manage Two California Facilities

Devon Self Storage, an Emeryville, Calif.-based self-storage operator and property-management company, will assume the property management responsibilities for two self-storage facilities in Oakland, Calif.

The facilities, Self Storage at The Press Building and Self Storage at Telegraph Lofts, are owned by Madison Park Financial Corp. The two sites total 49,000 net rentable square feet of self-storage space.  The sites will be rebranded Devon Self Storage. 

“We are looking forward to Devon bringing its exceptional self -storage management skills to bear on our two facilities and to working with Devon’s experienced and professional senior staff,” says John Protopappas, president and CEO of Madison Park Financial Corp.

“We are excited by the opportunity afforded us and are eager to assume the management responsibilities for the two stores that are virtually in our back yard,” adds Kenneth E. Nitzberg, chairman and CEO of Devon Self Storage.

Devon Self Storage manages 50 properties in 13 states, totaling approximately 4,250,000 square feet.

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ISS Blog

Are You Reaching Out to Your Medical Community?

An article on illustrates just how far-reaching the customer base for self-storage can be. The article detailed how area hospitals in Cleveland are stockpiling medical supplies and equipment in preparation for a possible swine flu outbreak. They’re storing everything from masks and stethoscopes to bed linens and cots.

Many self-storage operators have enjoyed having pharmaceutical reps and local hospitals as tenants over the years. Some even store medical records for hospitals and other medical professionals.

And while we all hope an H1N1 outbreak isn’t on the horizon, this could be an opportunity for self-storage facilities to provide a solution to a very real problem. Many hospitals are downsizing, but still need to be prepared. Storing equipment off site allows them to free up space while keeping it close by in case they need it.

If your facility is close to a hospital, urgent care or other medical office, consider stopping by and letting them know about your facility’s services. Offer a discount or free use of your facility’s moving truck.

Another great way to get involved with your medical community is to partner on a health and safety day. Terri Gavins, winner of the ISS “Best in Self-Storage Marketing” Contest, did just this to promote the grand opening of Storage Center of Southwood in Tallahassee, Fla. Gavins tapped another local business to co-sponsor the event, which included music, safety tips from the police and fire departments, a blood drive and vision screening. The Health and Safety Day was so successful, Gavins plans to turn it into an annual event. (Read more about the contest winners and entries in the January issue of ISS.)

The health care community is also pushing flu vaccines in grocery stores, at pharmacies and schools. Why not give them space at your facility? Offer to help them promote the event through your e-newsletter and banners around the facility.

Do you have a medical professional or hospital storing at your facility? Tell us how you tapped into this tenant base by posting a comment below or head over to Self-Storage Talk and share your story. 

iPod Ad Outside Planet Self Storage Declared Illegal

An Apple iPod billboard has been taken down from the exterior of Planet Self Storage facility in Boston after it was declared illegal by the Massachusetts Outdoor Advertising Board.

The board had opposed the signage since it went up in 2007. It  stated the sign was illegal because it didn’t advertise anything for sale relating to the iPod Touch inside the building. The owners of the building, however, stated they sell iTunes gift cards. The iPod advertising was obscuring a 13,750-square-foot wall mural of whales.
Source:  Erictric,   Apple Takes Down Massive Boston Ad, City Called It Illegal

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Hospitals Rent Self-Storage Units to Stockpile Medical Supplies

Many hospitals around country are renting self-storage units to stockpile medical supplies and equipment in preparation for a potential swine flu outbreak. 

Federal grand money given out after Sept. 11th has allowed many hospitals to purchase extra medical supplies for emergencies. Hospitals are storing boxes of masks, cots, bed linens and more, in self-storage units. The stockpile fulfills hospitals’ worst-case-scenario plans.  

Source:,   Hospitals Prepare for Field Operations in Case of Severe H1N1 

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RoboVault Self-Storage Sponsors Miami Beach Antique Show

RoboVault, the world’s first robotic self-storage facility, will be a platinum sponsor of the 49th annual Original Miami Beach Antique Show, taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Fla., Jan. 21-25.
RoboVault’s state-of-the-art technology and security systems provide protection for antiques, jewelry, wine, automobiles, documents and other precious valuables. The company has developed a storage facility that is impermeable to theft, the elements, bullets, fire and even Category 5 hurricanes. Security features include a biometric fingerprint scan, photoelectric beams, motion sensors and networked CCTV systems.
Robovault also provides fine-art and antique services including include packing, crating and shipping, local and domestic art shuttle, and installation and rigging with strict adherence to the National Gallery of Art guidelines.
The antique show will exhibit rare historical art collections and antiques, such as furniture by Marcel Breuer, original paintings and works of art spanning more than three centuries, fine American and European silver, textiles and rugs, Asian art, glass pieces by Tiffany and Lalique, and much more. A one-time admission of $15 is valid for all five days of the show.
RoboVault developer Marvin Chaney, who began his career as a CPA, has developed self-storage facilities for more than 25 years, first in Detroit and then in Florida. In 1986, in response to increasing land costs, he developed the first multi-story self-storage facility in the state of Florida.
The Original Miami Beach Antique Show is one of more than 250 trade exhibitions, consumer shows and fairs produced by dmg world media. The company also publishes more than 40 related magazines, newspapers, directories and market reports.

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Chemicals Found in Utah Self-Storage Create Huge Crater

A large amount of model rocket fuel discovered at self-storage facilities in Perry and South Willard, Utah, was destroyed by hazardous-materials teams last week, inadvertently blowing a huge crater in the ground. The planned law-enforcement explosion went awry, police said, though no one was injured and nothing was damaged.
An Ogden, Utah, owner of a model-rocket business had been storing the fuel as well as other chemicals in thousands of barrels, paint cans and other containers, according to a Box Elder County police official. He was reported by a family friend.
Local deputies chose a spot on Perry city property to destroy the more dangerous chemicals. They emptied the fuel inside a six-foot trench along with explosives to destroy it. One of the batches went wrong, creating a crater about 20 feet deep and 30 feet wide.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, Planned hazmat explosion goes awry

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Strategic Storage Trust Rebrands as SmartStop Self Storage

In an effort to unify and establish its national self-storage brand, Strategic Storage Trust Inc., launched a major campaign to rebrand its facilities as SmartStop Self Storage. The company’s portfolio includes 24 properties in 13 states.
"Our goal for this new brand is three-fold,” said H. Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO, “To deliver a personalized touch by setting new customer-service standards in the industry; to offer innovative services and advanced technologies; and to help keep our communities healthy by dedicating our time to community outreach and involvement. SmartStop Self Storage has a national footprint, but we think locally, more like a neighborhood family business."
Strategic Storage Trust is a publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust with a portfolio that includes approximately 2.2 million rentable square feet of storage space. The company’s sponsor is Strategic Capital Holdings, which manages a growing portfolio of more than 5.7 million square feet of commercial properties.

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Supnick Real Estate Joins With Daniel Myers to Help Troubled Self-Storage Properties

Supnick Real Estate Co. has partnered with Daniel A. Myers & Associates P.C., to assist self-storage owners in finding long-term financial solutions for their “problem” properties.  The businesses aim to help borrowers and property owners restructure, reduce or eliminate their ongoing financial obligations.
As legal counsel, Daniel Myers represents commercial borrowers in loan restructurings and workouts including structured workouts, loan modifications, discounted payoffs, property valuations, loan originations, and deeds in lieu and foreclosure.
Based in Mt. Laurel, N.J., and owned by Jeffrey Supnick, Supnick Real Estate is full-service real estate brokerage, consulting and management firm exclusively serving self-storage buyers, sellers, developers and operators.

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