October 4, 2010 11:15 PM
What can you do with a large, empty building that was previously used as a discount retail superstore? Make a self storage warehouse out of it. That’s what several retailers and real estate developers, after trying unsuccessfully to sell vacant buildings in a rough real estate market, are concluding. Over the summer, a group of Dallas real estate developers bought an old Walmart and converted it to a Just Store It facility. Now Menards has followed suit, turning its old Eau Claire, Wisconsin facility into a self storage business -- Menards Self Storage.
Why are large buildings that were previously used as retail stores so ideal for self storage? They have a lot of empty space in an already existing structure. Interior space can then be framed into units without the expense of constructing new buildings. Buildings that were previously used as retail stores also typically have loading docks in the back (previously used for unloading inventory) that can be used for loading and unloading items to go into storage. They usually offer plenty of parking. Finally, they are ordinarily located in areas that are already zoned for commercial use, in areas where the community has already addressed concerns such as changes in traffic patterns that might result from building a new facility where one had not previously existed.
Menards Self Storage is located at 3230 E. Hamilton Avenue in Eau Claire. Originally, the location was used as a Menards store. For a while, the company rented out the space to Gold’s Gym. But now the building has become a self storage facility with more than 400 units, some of which are climate-controlled. Outdoor warehouse space is also available for people or businesses who want to store larger items that are not temperature-sensitive, such as boats, cars, or RVs. The units are all at ground level.
“Longview, Texas, Walmart gets converted to self-storage.” Inside Self-Storage. June 21, 2010.
Menards Self Storage.
“Menards turns former store into storage complex.” SSA Globe. Oct. 1, 2010.
“Menards turns former store into storage complex.” WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI News 18.
Stevens, John. “Old Dallas Walmart becomes new self storage facility.” Self Storage Industry News. June 21, 2010.