Contributing Editors

Self Storage Facility Zoning Change Approved Based on Lower Parking Needs

by Winnie Hsiu April 23, 2010 11:17 AM
A California community has approved the conversion of an office building into a self storage facility based in part on the lower parking needs of the self storage facility compared to the amount of parking that would have been needed for office use. The Planning Commission of Capitola, California, had initially recommended against amending the city code to allow self storage in a community commercial zone, hoping that it would be possible to encourage retailers to make use of the space. Ultimately, though, council members at last night's Capitola City Council meeting decided the matter based on traffic flow, parking and lighting issues, rather than focusing on how the space would be used. [More]

Wheat Storage Shortage Poses Challenges Worldwide

by Holly Robinson April 23, 2010 8:47 AM
World wheat supplies are at record highs this year, and projected to grow even higher -- and the surplus of wheat has led to a worldwide wheat storage shortage. The world currently has so much wheat that some analysts say the United States would have plenty of wheat even if not a single American farmer were to plant wheat this year. In fact, American growers are starting to sow less wheat, as Australian and Russian farmers have increased their wheat production so dramatically that Asian countries are finding it more economical to import their wheat from Australia and Russia than from the United States. The United States is still the world's largest exporter of wheat, but its share of the world wheat market has dropped to 19 percent this year, down from 29 percent in 2008, because so much wheat is already available elsewhere. [More]

Convenience Stores Add Self Storage Services

by John Stevens April 21, 2010 10:45 PM
Many self storage facility owners have managed to cope with the changing economy by expanding their services. Some facilities have begun to offer related services, such as specialized storage (including wine storage, for example), moving services, retail stores that offer packing materials, and truck rentals. Self storage facilities in some areas have also expanded by adding post offices or delivery services such as FedEx or UPS, conference rooms, Internet access in various forms, and coffee vendors. Now some non-storage-related businesses are using the same strategy, expanding the services that they offer in order to bring in more business. Some convenience store owners, not satisfied with branching out into selling gasoline and adding lunch counters and coffee bars, are also adding self storage facilities. [More]

Texas Marina Forced to Move Boat Storage Facility

by Tony Gonzalez April 19, 2010 2:32 PM
A marina in Freeport, Texas, will have to move part of its drystack boat storage facility, because the storage building sticks out onto land that has been earmarked for use by the state highway department. The boat storage building encroaches 22 feet onto land that will be used to construct the new Pine Street bridge. Freeport will have to spend $347,510 to move the offending section of the building.

Although the move will be expensive, members of the Freeport Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) were pleased with the estimate, saying that it would cost about $100,000 less than they expected. Despite their pleasure at the lower estimate, FEDC members are still not certain how they will pay for the relocation. [More]

How Will Wall Street Securities Fraud Affect the Self Storage Industry?

by John Stevens April 19, 2010 12:15 PM
Investors interested in self storage should keep a watchful eye on the Goldman Sachs crisis, for two reasons. First of all, self storage businesses historically have been included in some real estate deals structured by Goldman Sachs and other investment bankers who are starting to be accused to mortgage fraud. As long ago as 2001, Bruce Taub, the then senior vice president of acquisitions for Storage USA commented that some equity deals structured by large firms such as Goldman Sachs and Prudential Real Estate were looking unrealistic: "A number of joint ventures purchased or developed assets in the last few years with an exit strategy that proved unrealistic," he noted in Commercial Investment Real Estate, in words that now seem prescient.

Secondly, at the end of 2009, almost seven percent of Goldman Sach's Real Estate Securities Fund was dedicated to self storage investments. If Goldman Sachs and other major investment bankers lose a lot of money or go out of business, capital for self storage acquisitions and development may have to come from other sources. Developments in one aspect of the market are likely to affect other aspects of the market. [More]

Florida Town Debates Possibility of Town-Owned Storage for RVs and Boats

by Kim Kilpatrick April 16, 2010 11:13 AM
Residents of Shalimar, a town on Florida's Emerald Coast, are debating a proposal to have the town of Shalimar build its own RV and boat storage yard. The issue was discussed at a Town Commission meeting on Tuesday. But the commission did not make a final decision about the boat yard because one member was absent and the members who were present were split fairly evenly on the subject. [More]

Hawaii Self Storage Supports Literacy

by Winnie Hsiu April 16, 2010 10:22 AM
Hawaii Self Storage has been promoting literacy in Hawaii since 2006, when it began its "Lockers for Literacy" program. In 2007 Hawaii Self Storage also began an ongoing book drive to collect books for the Literacy Hawaii Bookmobile (which is also called the Classroom on Wheels). Now, however, the bookmobile is in jeopardy. It has been covered more than 200,000 miles in its efforts to bring books to Hawaiian children. The bookmobile has finally developed so many mechanical problems that it has been grounded. Ironically, the bookmobile was finally grounded in mid-April -- just in time for National Bookmobile Day on April 14. [More]

Spring Self Storage Construction Business Booming

by Holly Robinson April 15, 2010 2:40 PM
The self storage construction business is booming in the U.S. this spring and summer. Some businesses are expanding, while others are being built from the ground up. The projects that are underway include:

Chester Heights Self-Storage Center, in Chester Heights, PA

The owners of the soon-to-be-opened Chester Heights Self-Storage Center, in Chester Heights, Pennsylvania, had intended to open their facility last winter. Instead, they will be opening this spring or summer, after ironing out a few last construction problems. The facility failed its water pressure test at the end of March, and will have to re-excavate the line to find a possible leak. In addition, the electrical conduit had to be moved to a new location, farther from the sprinkler system. And paving, fencing, and curb installation have yet to take place. [More]

PA Governor Seeks to Tax Self Storage and Other Services

by Tony Gonzalez April 15, 2010 1:28 PM
In an attempt to balance their states' budgets, Michigan and North Carolina have been considering a tax on services, including self storage, for several months. Now Pennsylvania's Governor wants Pennsylvania to follow suit. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced earlier this month that he wants to lower Pennsylvania's sales tax from six percent to four percent, but apply it to more purchases, including sales of services such as self storage.

Only a few special kinds of sales would remain free of sales tax in Pennsylvania if Rendell's budget plan is approved by the legislature. The last remaining untaxed sales goods would be food, clothing, drugs, manufacturing, and sales by nonprofit groups. In addition to self storage, other services that would be taxed under Rendell's budget plan include home appraisals, engineering, accounting, legal services, and consulting. Nearly all services would be taxed in Pennsylvania -- health care services and educational tuition, however, would remain untaxed. [More]

Indiana County Still Struggling to Store Emergency Equipment

by Kim Kilpatrick April 14, 2010 11:18 AM
For several years now, county commissioners from Tippecanoe County, Indiana, have been trying to find indoor storage for the Tippecanoe County Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) vehicles. Currently, TEMA has more than $5 million worth of emergency equipment stored in five different locations, several of which are outdoors. Now two members of the Tippecanoe County Council have proposed using a 4-H Fairgrounds barn as a storage location. But County Commissioner David Byers told the Lafayette Journal & Courier that commissioners are considering several possibilities. [More]
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