Sponsored By

Former Factory in Newport News, VA, Converted to Self-Storage

The owner of a former factory in Newport News, Va., has converted the 58-year-old building into a self-storage facility. Susan Sarro was unable to find a buyer or renter for the 12,000-square-foot building at 4801 Chestnut Ave. and saw a need for climate-controlled storage in the area, which is largely industrial.

March 20, 2015

2 Min Read
Former Factory in Newport News, VA, Converted to Self-Storage

The owner of a former factory in Newport News, Va., has converted the 58-year-old building into a self-storage facility. Susan Sarro was unable to find a buyer or renter for the 12,000-square-foot building at 4801 Chestnut Ave. and saw a need for climate-controlled storage in the area, which is largely industrial.

“I was trying to figure out what to do with it,” said Sarro, who’s worked as an accountant, flight instructor and real estate agent.

All Weather Indoor Storage began renting its first 27 units in the Copeland Industrial Park this week. Sarro plans to seek financing for another 27 units once the existing ones reach 80 percent occupancy, she told the source.

The building was once a manufacturing plant for Graber, a company founded in 1946 that produces blinds and other window treatments. When Graber's parent company, Springs Window Fashions, bought Quality Window Products Co. out of its contract in February 2012, it transitioned its manufacturing to Mexico, Sarro told the source. She purchased Quality Window Products from Alan Workman in November 1984. The company retains office space at 48th Street and Chestnut that serves as a retail seller of Graber blinds and shades.

Demand for self-storage is growing in Newport News, in the southeast end of the Virginia Peninsula. In addition to the housing crisis, life changes have created demand, according to Kenneth D. Penrose Jr., vice president and associate broker with real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, which brokered the deal.

"Another factor we're seeing is increased demand from the small businesses such as contractors and retailers," Penrose told the source. "It's a very inexpensive way for businesses to add capacity."

The Safe Place Mini Storage also recently opened in the Peninsula, converted from a 95-year-old building at 333 W. York St. The facility is in Norfolk's Freemason Historic District. Like Sarro, the owners of the building also had trouble finding tenants, Matthew Fine, president of The Safe Place, told the source.

"It was only available because no one else could figure out what to do with it," Fine said, adding it’s the only building his company leases. "It kind of just fit the niche. I knew there was a need for storage down there.”

The Safe Place operates five storage facilities on both sides of the Virginia Peninsula. Limited parking makes it difficult for businesses to operate in the area, Fine told the source.

Although two conversion developments have recently opened, the majority of new self-storage businesses under construction in the area are ground-up projects, not conversions, according to the source.

Sources:

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like