Contributing Editors

Canadian Self-Storage Companies Plan Joint Venture to Introduce PUPS

by Tony Gonzalez November 24, 2009 6:38 PM
Three Canadian companies announced yesterday that they are signing a term sheet to enter into a joint venture together. The three companies, StorageVault, Can-Stor Self Storage LP and CSS Holdings LP, plan to introduce the portable unit concept (PUPS) to their properties. They intend to integrate their fixed storage with PUPS businesses at each of their properties.

The term sheet is only a very preliminary step. At this point, it is tentative -- the term sheet itself must be agreed upon and approved by the Boards of Directors of each company, the joint venture itself must be approved, and shareholders and investors for each company may have to approve, before the joint venture can move forward at all. Once all those approvals are obtained, the TSX Venture Exchange must also approve. [More]

Foy Cooley Profiled in North Jersey's The Record

by Holly Robinson November 23, 2009 7:48 AM
Foy Cooley, former president of the national and the New York Self-Storage Associations, was profiled in North Jersey's The Record on Sunday. Cooley, who The Record describes as "the first lady of self-storage," is one of the few female executives in an industry which tends to be dominated by men. In addition to having been the president of the national and New York Self Storage Associations, Cooley currently serves on the board of the New Jersey Self Storage Association.

Cooley and her husband, Ken, opened the New York area's first self-storage facility in 1976 -- 33 years ago. Now she is the head of Access Self Storage Inc, which has an annual revenue of $19 million. Access owns and/or manages 19 facilities in New Jersey and New York, and has just opened up a new facility in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. This year, she was inducted into the National Self Storage Association Hall of Fame. [More]

Using Self-Storage to Prepare for the Holidays

by Kim Kilpatrick November 23, 2009 7:05 AM
Self-storage companies around the country are offering tips to help people with the process of decluttering in preparation for the holidays. While many people like to store things in their closets, basements, and attics, others find that using self-storage greatly reduces the stress of the holidays. Using a self-storage unit can reduce stress in the following ways:

A self-storage unit provides parents with a way to rotate unused toys out of circulation. Most parenting experts recommend that parents leave only a few toys out at a time for children to play with. When the current set of toys ceases to interest children, parents can rotate them into storage and rotate other toys out. It is best to keep only as many toys in circulation as children can reasonably be expected to put away on their own.... [More]

Self-Storage Company Donates Units to Help Fire Victims in Phoenix, Arizona

by Kim Kilpatrick November 16, 2009 6:21 AM
It's typical for self-storage companies to have a favorite charity that they like to support, and Everest Self Storage, of Phoenix, Arizona, is no exception. Everest has been supporting the Phoenix Fire Department Outreach Program for nine years. This year, the facility is helping Phoenix fire victims by donating three storage units. According to facility manager Maria Bates, the storage units at Everest are being used to store donations that have been collected in local drives until they can be distributed to the victims of home fires. [More]

Will Usher or Tameka Have to Find Self Storage?

by Holly Robinson November 11, 2009 8:47 AM
As reported on several news sites (including the Associated Press) on Friday, November 6, R&B sensation, entrepreneur, philanthropist and sometimes-actor Usher Raymond and his wife of 2 years, Tameka Foster Raymond, were granted their final divorce decree on November 4, 2009. The couple has 2 young boys together: Usher Raymond V and Naviyd Ely Raymond.

31-year old Usher filed for divorce from Tameka in June of this year amidst claims that their marriage was "irretrievably broken" with "no reasonable hope of reconciliation." In court papers, Usher stated that he and Tameka had been living separately for nearly one year (although her family and friends claim the two never lived apart, and, in fact, Usher shared their Atlanta home with Tameka and the boys until March, 2009.)

Regardless of their actual separation date, the most important questioned begs to be asked. Who gets what? Or, to be clearer – who has to rent a self storage unit?

Clearly, Usher and Tameka have a lot of "stuff" they need to separate. Between homes, luxury rides, and Usher’s 5 Grammy’s…let’s just say the "distribution of wealth" from this divorce may actually take longer than the divorce – or for that matter – the marriage! [More]

Consumerism = Happiness @ Self Storage

by Holly Robinson November 4, 2009 12:35 PM
According to Wikipedia, Consumerism is “the equation of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions.”

It is this phenomenon with which Commonwealth Centre Parkway’s Space Mart Self Storage Facility Manager John Poss credits the tortoise-like growth of the self-storage market in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

“I would consider [Chesterfield] a very saturated market right here. I probably have 4-5 competitors within 10 miles,” says Poss. “It’s a very healthy [business] environment… [The economic downturn] “hasn’t hurt us. We haven’t felt a lot of the crunch that retail and some of the other industries have felt.” (

Poss attributes some of the growth to the current real estate slump as well. “With some of the way the housing market’s going, we have some tenants who are downsizing from a 3-bedroom home to a 1-bedroom apartment,” said Poss, “at least temporarily, they need somewhere to store their extra belongings.” (

Nationally and locally, commercial or “business” clientele is roughly 15-25% of the self storage business, with residential customers comprising the balance. [More]

SC Marina Upgrades Boat Storage Facility in Slow Economy

by Winnie Hsiu November 4, 2009 11:31 AM
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10 years ago there were roughly 8,200 U.S. marinas; by 2002, there were 12,000 marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs, “dockominiums’, etc., including The Reserve Harbor Yacht Club (RHYC) in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, where significant facility upgrades were just announced, according to’s November 2 posting.

Situated on the portion of the Intercoastal Waterway known as the Waccamaw River, the RHYC is 20 miles north of Georgetown (SC), and boasts a full-service marina, open to both members and the public. Thanks to its recent upgrades, the marina now offers more than 200 slips in its 31,350 square-foot enclosed, dry storage facility, in addition to 50 wet slips (ranging from 25-75 feet), with access to power and water, gas and diesel, and a ship’s store. Just last month, 2 new pontoon boats (which can be rented for full or half-day excursions) were added to RHYC’s offering as well.

Full-service marinas, like the one at the RHYC, are highly profitable; in 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated marina revenues at $3.26 billion. [More]

In A Slumping Industry, NJ Glassmaker Consolidates, Expands

by Tony Gonzalez November 3, 2009 11:18 AM
Glassmaking is an ancient art. In fact, it is said that the first glassmaking “how to” tome was found in the library of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (669-626 BC). Many believe that the early civilizations of Western Asia and Egypt guarded the “formula” for fusing glass from raw materials as a highly-valued secret, and that glass itself was considered a luxury item throughout the 15th century, when the Venetians mastered the art. Today, it is a global industry, with China dominating the market. China’s glass production has increased by more than $575 million since 2003; an increase of more than 67%.

However, from 2001-2008, the glass industry in the United States has seen a significant decline, with nearly 40,000 jobs lost during that 7-year period (a 30% decrease, according to figures from the U.S. Labor Department.) States with some of the nation’s highest unemployment – including California, Illinois, Michigan and West Virginia have lost at least 1 out of 4 glass industry jobs since 2001.

Today, Vineland, New Jersey-based Wilmad-LabGlass is a major player in the global market of scientific glass used in both in high-tech pharmaceutical research and aeronautics systems, and they are about to become even more competitive.

According to General Manager Ron DiMaria, the consolidation and eventual expansion of its Vineland facility at North West Boulevard (approved by Vineland’s Planning Board in October, 2009) will ease efficiency and increase productivity for Wilmad-LabGlass. [More]

Self-Storage Association Members Join Fight Against Terrorism

by John Stevens November 2, 2009 10:09 AM
At the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Self Storage Association (SSA) has notified its 6,000 members, its state association affiliates and their members, and thousands of individual self-storage facility managers and operators, of the potential for self-storage units to be used by terrorists. Investigators believe that people planning acts of domestic terrorism, or terrorism within U.S. borders, could use self-storage facilities as a place to store illegal materials or to assemble them. The SSA advised its members to notify their local Joint Terrorism Task Force immediately if they observe anything that makes them suspect that terrorist, suspicious, or illegal behavior may be in progress.

The DHS has recruited quite a few leaders from various businesses to be part of an anti-terrorism task force called the DHS Commercial Facilities Subsector Coordinating Council of the Infrastructure Protection Task Force. For this task force, DHS focuses on sectors of the real estate and other commercial industries that may be potential terrorism targets or that have the potential to be used by or come into contact with potential terrorists. The SSA participates with this task force as well, and the SSA and its members have done everything that they can to aid authorities since September 11, 2001. [More]

EPA Reaches Pricey Settlement with MI-Based Usher Enterprises

by Winnie Hsiu November 1, 2009 4:23 PM
According to an October 30 posting on, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Friday reached a $700,000 settlement with Detroit-based Usher Enterprises Incorporated, over alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations (used oil) as outlined in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, at 2 different oil recycling operations. Those monies will be used toward upgrading the two facilities in question.

The facilities - one at 10585 Grand River Avenue, which stored 1 million gallons of used oil; the other site, at 8900 Roselawn Avenue, which had 50 storage tanks - will be getting new oil storage tanks, as well as improving secondary containment, and the testing and decontamination of older tanks.

The EPA inspected these 2 facilities because of their potentially detrimental effect on the Detroit River, an important nesting and feeding area for migratory birds.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is the principal Federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste. [More]
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