Inside Self-Storage

FEB 2019

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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W hen Patrick Gilroy and his father began designing their third self-storage facility, The Stor-House in Bellevue, Wash., they were keeping their personal wine collection with a third party. Being unhappy with their experience at that business, the duo decided to add the service to their own development. The idea was to create an unparalleled wine-storage option where they'd be very happy to lodge their bottles. After some research, they discovered the demographics surrounding their location were perfect for this type of high-end storage. "Woodinville, Wash., is only a short drive north and home to many of Washington state's premier wineries, so this generates a fair amount of local interest in wine," Gilroy says. Nearly a decade later, Wine Storage Bellevue continues to flourish, proving the Gilroys' decision to be a good one. While not ideal for every self-storage business, this service can be a successful profit center for those in the right market. The Right Spot Though wine storage is still relatively rare in self-storage facilities, there's a bigger market for it than ever. "Wine consumption is on the rise, and people need a place to safely store their wine collections," says Roy Carroll II, CEO and president of The Carroll Cos., which operates 10 Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar facilities in the Carolinas. While a wine-storage facility doesn't have to be near a large city or wineries to draw customers, location plays a key role. If there's no market for the service or it's already saturated, you'll wind up with empty lockers. When doing research, consider self-storage facilities and other types of businesses that cater to this niche. "A good market has a lot to do with demographics and what local wine retailers can tell you about their customers," says Eric Blum, vice president of Better Management Systems LLC, which consulted on the development of Sobe Wine & Self Storage in the historic Flamingo/Lummus neighborhood of Miami Beach, Fla. The area contains a high-end clientele known for its affinity for wine. There are few businesses offering the kind of upscale wine storage Sobe proposed, Blum adds. Another consideration is local weather. "The hotter the weather and the greater temperature swings from season to season will drive the need for temperature-controlled wine storage," Gilroy says. Wine collectors will seek a safe, secure alternative to storing their precious vino at home. "We built our wine-storage room with the advanced wine consumer in mind— someone who loves and cares about wine but doesn't want to necessarily spend tens of thousands of dollars building a cellar in his own home," says Chase Davis, head of marketing and research for Citadel Self Storage, which opened Citadel Wine Storage last summer at its new location in St. Matthews, Ky., a suburb of Louisville. Finally, find out if there are any state or federal regulations to which you must comply. "Determine if there are any regulatory agencies in your facility's marketplace, such as the local alcohol-control board, and whether or not they require a permit to operate in their jurisdiction," Gilroy says. "We sought and received a wine-storage permit early on, so we remained in the clear." The Right Environment Bear in mind that adding wine storage can be complex and expensive. Wine requires specific temperature and humidity. "The environment for proper wine storage is a delicate one. You need a place that'll remain cool with a good humidity; no direct Finding the right fit for wine storage By Amy Campbell Pour Profit on the ! The wine lockers at Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar in Raleigh, N.C. The wine room at Citadel Wine Storage in St. Matthews, Ky. 18 ISS I February 2019

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