Contributing Editors

Period Clothing Comes Out of Storage Straight Back into Style

by Winnie Hsiu October 19, 2010 3:18 PM
Fashion trends, as the saying goes, are cyclical -- more so in hard times, during recession economies, than at other times. Families are raiding their storage units and the backs of their closets to find timeless clothing that once seemed dated, but now has become trendy. Particularly trendy this season are military styles: bomber jackets, trench coats, cargo pants, and camouflage. [More]

DE Self Storage Facility May Branch Out Into Green Roofs and Wind Power

by John Stevens September 1, 2010 8:04 AM
Delaware’s Secure Self Storage has announced that its Rehoboth Beach facility is now running entirely on solar power. The Delaware facility stopped using the local electric utility on July 7. Making a further commitment to relying on renewable energy sources, Secure Self Storage is also considering installing turbines to generate wind power at that site and at its Coney Island, New York facility. In addition, Secure is looking at the possibility of an ecofriendly green roof -- a roof that is entirely or partially covered with vegetation -- for its facilities. [More]

Westchester County, New York: Legislators Reconsider Local Gun Storage Laws

by Winnie Hsiu August 30, 2010 11:48 AM
In response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, legislators in Westchester County, New York have been considering changing local gun storage laws to make it possible for gun owners to more quickly access their guns in the event that they need to defend themselves in their homes. Gun advocates had hoped that legislators would change the laws, which they argued violated U.S. citizens’ right to bear arms. Legislators last week decided to hold off on making any changes to gun storage laws, at least for the time being. But the dialogue will probably continue for some time. [More]

FL Man Uses MA Self Storage Unit to Store Allegedly Counterfeit Art

by Kim Kilpatrick August 26, 2010 11:05 PM
The FBI arrested a Florida man last week, saying that he was trying to sell counterfeit Picasso, Matisse, and John Singer Sargent paintings. He was also alleged to have forged Sotheby’s documents proving the authenticity of his paintings, and to have mailed those fraudulent documents to an undercover FBI agent. Sixty-eight-year-old Luigi Cugini, allegedly a well known con artist, is said to have told his customers that he was the grandson of Joseph Coletti (now dead), a sculptor from the Boston area. Cugini marketed his paintings as having been part of Coletti’s personal collection, saying that they were worth millions of dollars. Cugini sometimes kept the paintings in his Broward County, Florida apartment, but often kept them in a Massachusetts self storage unit. [More]

NY Self Storage Operator Caught in the Middle in Financial Records Lockdown

by Kim Kilpatrick August 23, 2010 11:19 PM
A New York state self storage operator is caught in the middle of a lock down of financial records stored by the Albany brokerage firm McGinn, Smith & Co. McGinn Smith is the subject of an SEC investigation for financial fraud. The self storage operator, Mark Rekucki of Clifton Park Self Storage, initially agreed to allow McGinn Smith to rent 11 units free of charge for the month of April, while the firm was looking for new offices. The units were used to store McGinn Smith’s financial records. But late in April, the SEC formally charged McGinn Smith with securities fraud, and the storage units were raided by federal agents. Since then, no one has paid any rent on the units, and Clifton Park Self Storage alleges that it is owed more than $5,000 in back rent. [More]

Some Cities Banning Home Vacation Rentals

by Tony Gonzalez August 11, 2010 11:54 PM
A frequent use of self storage is to store one’s possessions during a vacation, so that one’s home can be rented to another vacationer. A once rare practice, renting residential homes for a vacation has become common over the last decades, as travelers try to make do on smaller budgets. Renting a home from the homeowner is often cheaper than staying in a hotel. But this summer many cities have begun to ban short-term vacation rentals, including apartment rentals and condo rentals. In other cities, longstanding laws against the short term rentals are being enforced more rigorously for the first time. New York and Chicago passed laws this summer banning short-term rentals. Maui, Hawaii, has begun to enforce an old law against short-term vacation home rentals, and so has Paris, France. [More]

Self Storage Companies Plant Trees for Customers

by Kim Kilpatrick August 6, 2010 10:26 AM
Two self storage companies are planting trees in an attempt to cause reforestation of areas of the world that are suffering from deforestation, such as Haiti, the Amazon basin, and tropical rain forests around the world. Watson & Taylor Self Storage, of Addison, Texas, announced this week that it will work with Trees for the Future to plant ten trees for every new self storage customer to rent a unit at their facility in the month of August. Likewise, iStoreGreen of Brooklyn, New York, plants a tree for every tenant through the Nature Conservancy. [More]

Columbia University Wins Latest Round in Case Against Small Self Storage Firm

by Holly Robinson June 29, 2010 1:29 PM
Nicholas Sprayregan began his fight to save Tuck-It-Away Self Storage from annexation by New York’s Columbia University in 2004, but the battle may now be drawing to a close. Last week Columbia received a green light from New York’s highest court to go ahead with its eminent domain expansion, taking over private properties in a Harlem neighborhood that the government has designated as a blight on the city. Columbia’s team of lawyers had argued that because the West Harlem neighborhood was considered blighted, ruling in the university’s favor would mean upholding the precedent set in 2009, when the court approved the use of eminent domain in Brooklyn. In that case, attorneys argued that the rights of property owners did not outweigh the community’s right to improve the neighborhood by building the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project. [More]

New York Zoning Board Delays Decision on Whether to Allow Pet Grooming Business at Self Storage Facility

by Tony Gonzalez June 29, 2010 9:52 AM
You can’t live inside a self storage unit. But can you wash and groom a dog there? Can you run a pet grooming business there? That was the question facing the town board of Wales, New York earlier this month, on June 8. It is not unusual for a small business to be run out of a self storage facility, but a pet dog grooming business might have special needs unlike those of other small businesses. The Wales Town Board discussed the matter for eight minutes and then unanimously decided that they needed more information in order to make an informed decision. They tabled the request pending proof that neighboring property owners had been notified that the self storage business was considering allowing pet groomers, or at least a pet groomer, to move in, and that there might be dogs and pets going in and out of the facility.

The request before the Wales Town Board was filed by Thunder Hill Self Storage, not by the pet grooming business. Thunder Hill would have to amend its special use permit, allowing another business to operate on its premises, if the pet grooming business is to be located there. The dog grooming business would be called Pet Grooming Spa. [More]

Westy Self Storage Collecting Tools for Oil Cleanup on Gulf Coast

by Holly Robinson June 23, 2010 5:51 PM
Westy Self Storage, a self storage company with 16 locations throughout New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, announced today that it has started a drive to collect materials to be used to clean up birds and animals affected by the BP oil spill cleanup. Donations can be dropped off at any of Westy’s locations. For the oil cleanup project, Westy is collaborating with another organization, the New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association (NJWMA). Westy will store each donation temporarily and then consolidate all the donations at its Stamford, Connecticut location. Then the NJWMA will transport the donations south. [More]
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