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  • pgazz
    started a topic Starting my first conversion.

    Starting my first conversion.

    I own a shopping center in Hudson Florida that has a vacant Grocery store that I've decided to do a conversion into Self Storage. I don't know much about the industry and am wondering a few things. Who do you think is good to help me with doing a lay out of the space. I have a Contractor in the family to do the install but I need a supplier and don't know where to go. What tips do you guys have? What should I put in that I might not be thinking of now?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  • marcgoodin
    replied
    There are 101 important things to decide. Depending on the demand and size of your building you may not want a drive in or loading doc, The front door or a couple of doors may be enough.

    You want to have a variety of sizes. 5 x 5 x 4 lockers and 5 x 15 units are often overlooked.

    You want one of each size right by the office to use as show units.

    An office and kiosk are both important.

    Determine now if addtional self storage can be done in the parking lot. You are not going to need nearly as many parking spots as retail does.

    Every penny you send on experts who have done self storage conversions before will be worth it.

    How far are you from Sarasota FL. lets grab a coffee if not to far.

    Cheers

    Marc

    Leave a comment:


  • Stevedore
    replied
    Now that the weather is getting bad and building is slow is the time to work on your engineering, feasibility, site planning and approvals so that you are ready to proceed in the spring/summer. Although conversions are not as seasonal. But I would guess you would get a better deal on steel in the off-season.


    Leave a comment:


  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    Yep, the wide enough aisles is a must. Again, that is only if you have a drive in facility. If it is a drive up to facility then a whole different set of "what is best" comes to mind.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stevedore
    replied
    I think one door at each end is sufficient if the drive is 25 feet wide. This allows passing an unloading vehicle as all legal vehicles are 8 feet wide or less.
    You would not want two adjacent unloading vehicles blocking the flow.

    Leave a comment:


  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    An indoor facility, that can be driven in to, would need proper ventilation for exhaust gases and one of the concerns is the fluids dropped to the ground, from the vehicles, when they drive in. That is easily addressed with the right coating on the floor and that stuff is tough and wears like iron and can easily be swept/mopped if needed. Automotive repair shops already use this. If it was me, I would have a door at each end, one for entry and one for exit, or two at each end. That way you don't have traffic meeting each other.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stevedore
    replied
    I agree with Brother Pac about putting in a drive-through whenever possible if you can get it past the fire marshall. It adds the convenience of drive-up with the temperature-controlled extra income per square foot.

    See my 4-acre sample at http://www.ministorageoutlet.com/siteplanning.html

    This shows a typical temperature-controlled drive-through building if built from scratch.

    Leave a comment:


  • pgazz
    replied
    I just want to thank all of you guys for your thoughts. It really does help.

    Paul

    Leave a comment:


  • Stevedore
    replied
    Welcome Paul,

    I would put a canopy up front over the double doors with room enough under it for two vehicles to unload at the same time. Not all storage customers will be able to use the loading dock.

    You should have your Site Plan performed by somebody with experience in the self-storage industry. Not all architects are experienced with the unit sizes involved. You would need a measured drawing showing the inside of the building as it exists to include the exact size and placement of internal support pillars and walls/rooms that are to remain.

    Please email me if you would like more information.


    Steve Smith

    Site Planner
    Building Outlet Corporation
    steve@buildingoutlet.com


    Leave a comment:


  • mmidgley
    replied
    I think a dcent ground level loading bay is fine. We have that at all our fiacilities... you can also drive your car into the loading bay, but it only fits one car at a time. Also having more then one loading bay is good. All of our buildings have atleast 3. But these buildings service 40-60k sqft. Not sure how big your site is.

    Leave a comment:


  • DairyGirl
    replied
    There is an old Walmart near me that is being converted into an a/c only storage facility. Their design is a "drive-in" facility, like Pac has described. It cuts through the center of the building with units/hallways on either side, allowing cars to park and load/unload.

    Leave a comment:


  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    I would always prefer to drive inside ad unload next to the unit. If the dock is covered, great, but you still have to unload "up" to the dock level and then still get the items inside. Sounds like you can't unload by driving thru "double doors" up front, since you mentioned it is not covered and that would not make any difference if you can drive thru the double doors. They are walk thru double doors, right? I just always think that the less you have to handle what you are trying to store, by unloading in front of the unit, the better the tenant likes it.

    Leave a comment:


  • pgazz
    replied
    No there are Dock high areas in the back but there is also double doors in the front of the building. They would have to cart in from the parking lot or they could unload at dock high around back. Unloading from the front would not be protected from weather. What do you think of that? Does that work or are there issues with that?

    Leave a comment:


  • 208manager
    replied
    Welcome pgazz

    Leave a comment:


  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    So, if I understand you right you plan to have them unload items at a dock and then carry or cart in or will it be a drive in facility. If you do the dock unload design will it have a cover for weather? I like the outside storage of vehicles and boats but you could also have drive up units outside as well that mixes with the vehicle storage.

    Leave a comment:

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