Contributing Editors

Comic Candidate for CA Governor Displays Self-Storage Unit Contents

by Tony Gonzalez February 11, 2010 4:30 PM
California gubernatorial candidate and media-wise comic artist Lowell Darling kicked off his campaign yesterday by hauling the contents of his self-storage unit to San Francisco's Gallery 16 and putting them on display. Darling's possessions, which previously were stored at Southpoint Self Storage in Sebastopol, California, comprise an exhibit entitled "Full Disclosure." Darling says that putting the self-storage items on display shows that he has nothing to hide. Darling's possessions will be on display until March 31. In addition to the things that Darling was keeping in self-storage, he is also exhibiting all the rest of his worldly possessions. According to Gallery 16's website, Darling has put on exhibit "everything he owns." Some items, however, will remain in boxes.

"I took everything and set it in the middle of the gallery," Darling said. "Forty boxes containing the history of how I became an artist." The possessions on display include Darling's first drawing as a child, leftover documents from his previous failed gubernatorial bid against then governor Jerry Brown (who is expected to enter the race again this year) in 1978, and Internal Revenue Service documents from a dispute Darling had with the IRS in the early 1970s. Darling battled the IRS for years because it refused to classify him as an artist, claiming he did not make enough money at it for it to be considered his occupation. [More]

Developer Tries to Salvage Commercial Property by Converting to Self-Storage

by John Stevens January 29, 2010 8:10 PM
Last night Redtree Properties, a Santa Cruz, California real estate developer, went before the City Council in Capitola, California, to discuss its proposal to turn vacant office space into self-storage units. The office space, which is located in a shopping mall, is not zoned for self-storage. The office spaces could not be converted to self-storage unless the city rezones the area or amends the neighborhood commercial zone law to allow self-storage. But the Capitola Planning Commission is in favor of the idea.

The office complex, which is located at 809 Bay Ave in Capitola, next door to the Nob Hill shopping mall, was last occupied in August 2008. It occupies 37,232 square feet of space, which Redtree plans to convert to 394 self-storage units. [More]

Assessing Tsunami Risk to Property at Home and in Storage

by Tony Gonzalez January 5, 2010 3:28 AM
Thanks to researchers Costas Synolakis, Jose Borrero, and Aggeliki Barberopoulou, of the University of Southern California's Tsunami Research Center, Californians can now go online to assess their risk of inundation by a tsunami at home, at work, or at their self-storage facility. The risk assessment tool has been added to the California Emergency Management Agency's MyHazards website. It is also possible to view the tsunami risk maps by county at the California Department of Conservation website....

Business owners can also use the website to assess the risk to their businesses -- and self-storage owners can assess the risk to the property left by tenants in storage units. For example, a search of the addresses for Extra Space's San Diego facilities shows that none of them lie within an area that is likely to experience tsunami-related flooding. Property owners who are very concerned about risk to valuable items or family heirlooms may want to compare the risk levels at their homes and at nearby self-storage facilities, to see which site is the most secure. [More]

Band that Started in Self-Storage Unit Releases New Album

by Kim Kilpatrick December 28, 2009 5:48 AM
Sick Sense, a punk band that formed in Riverside, California, in 1993 and got its start meeting and rehearsing in a self-storage unit, released its new album, "Welcome to the Sick Side," this December.

The band had intended to release the album earlier in 2009, but decided to hold off because of the recession. Thinking that the economy has improved somewhat, Sick Sense decided to release the new album at an early December concert in Canyon Crest, California. "We feel like it's the time to do it," said singer Mando Ochoa. The band gave away CDs of the album to the first 50 people to arrive at the concert. Ochoa took pride in noting that the band's fans span many age groups. "I think the people who just love punk rock music love it until they're 80 to 90 years old," Ochoa commented. "There's no age limit to punk rock." [More]

Residents Fighting Self Storage near Escondido,California

by Holly Robinson December 17, 2009 8:49 AM
Residents of a small community near Escondido, California (near San Diego) are fighting against the development and building of a small self-storage facility in their neighborhood....Residents say that while they do not have anything against self storage per se, they fear that this development will be the first step in changing the whole region from a bucolic rural haven into a colorless commercial artery. They do not want to see the area lose its rural flavor....However, PacVentures' representative, Bill Hofman, told officials at Monday's community meeting that the company has changed the design for the self storage facility to make it more compatible with the neighborhood. The design now includes more landscaping on the site's four acres, sound walls, and a small decrease in square footage. Hofman said that the facility was being modified to make it look more like a gated residential community....

Coincidentally, Bear Valley Rural Neighbors was originally formed in July 1999 to fight a plan to build a small shopping mall in the area. The group sued the city to stop it from running sewer lines out to the intersection for the shopping plaza. The group won the lawsuit, and the city was ordered to pay the group's legal fees. Later, it also defeated the North County Baptist Church of Escondido, stopping it from building a 13-acre complex nearby, and the Escondido Charter High School, preventing it from building a campus at the intersection. [More]

Self Storage Company Sells for $4.5 Million

by Holly Robinson December 10, 2009 12:31 PM
One of the earliest indicators that the economy is beginning to improve may be that foreclosed upon self-storage businesses are beginning to sell – and to sell quickly. Early in December, Bancap Self Storage Group brokered the sale of Global Self Storage, located in Victorville in San Bernardino County, California, for $4.5 million.

Global Self Storage had been foreclosed upon early in 2009. It contains 600 self-storage units, which make up nearly 87,000 net square feet of space. The facility is located on nearly 7.5 acres of land and also includes 150 exterior RV and boat storage spaces.

“This is a classic example of a first class property that just opened up for business at the wrong time,” said Dean Keller, Bancap’s president, who brokered the deal. “The effects of the economic downturn and the temporary overbuilding in these areas have really hurt owners in outlying markets like this.” [More]
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