At the end of last year, Extra Space Storage took on a unique project with one of its self storage facilities in Brooklyn, NY. The facility, located at 201 64th St in the Sunset Park neighborhood, was housed in the former Brooklyn Second Avenue divisional military arsenal, which was constructed in 1926 and used up through the 1950s for centralized munitions storage. Though the then 92-year-old building had a fascinating backstory and interesting curb appeal, it was time for an upgrade.
But redeveloping a former military structure into a commercial self storage property was no walk in the park for Program Manager Scott Armstrong and Design Lead Rob Burns. Not only did the eight-story-tall building require multiple man lifts for the job, but the team came across physical inconsistencies that made the job a bit trickier—like walls that varied anywhere between 12 and 18 inches thick.
There were other challenges posed by the self storage facility’s location, too. The construction would need to happen above parked vehicles and customer zones, as well as around other local businesses.
“The most unique challenge was working around the BMW dealership next door,” explained Armstrong and Burns. “Extra Space Storage has an agreement that authorizes the dealership to park cars on our property. The BMW dealership parked cars in every nook and cranny in this area. The logistics to have these cars relocated every time we needed to perform work was very cumbersome.”
While the neighboring dealership was prepared to coordinate whenever construction needed to be done, the weather wasn’t as willing. The team didn’t just have the unreliable Northeast weather working against them; they also had near-constant winds coming off the New York Bay to deal with.
“The weather challenges were not as easily overcome,” Armstrong and Burns added. “We had to continuously gauge the weather patterns to schedule the contractor to complete the work.”
Despite all of these logistical concerns, the team worked hard to communicate challenges, find potential workarounds, and be flexible with schedules to ensure all necessary work was completed. When construction was finished, the facility had a new roofing system, exterior and interior design improvements, perimeter upgrades, apartment renovation, and security equipment upgrades.