Innovation that’s in touch with the evolving marketplace

April 24, 2014 0
Innovation that’s in touch with the evolving marketplaceAn artist’s rendering of Decatur Street Self-Storage.

Personal convenience and professional relevance. That’s what a self-storage facility being developed in the Atlanta area is touting—demonstrating how self-storage is evolving from a function-over-form industry to a form-and-function industry.

An article on the Curbed Atlanta website notes: “At first blush, the notion of a self-storage facility and coffee shop combo might sound ridiculous … . The five-story, $9.2 million Decatur Street Self-Storage will host a conference facility for its renters and retail that fronts Decatur Street (Bisnow reports a coffee shop will consume that space).”

Atlanta-based Stein Investment Group is building the Decatur Street facility.

Self-storage facility, conference facility and coffee shop all in one sounds like winner. The coffee shop will only drive traffic to the self-storage facility. And having the three uses in one complex creates synergy for those working nearby; they’ll undoubtedly be enticed to use the self-storage option for overflow files and other business storage needs.

Given the flexible and all-purpose relevance of self-storage, there’s really no limit to multiuse possibilities and subsequent promotion. For example, the storage facility may want to conduct a “free coffee on us” promotion where prospective tenants checking out the facility and its amenities receive a voucher for a free beverage at the adjacent coffee shop.

An October 2013 shot of construction at Decatur Street Self-Storage.

Since people often have stereotypical (translate: less than complimentary) perceptions of self-storage, getting them to visit this Atlanta facility, with its conference room and other amenities, may prompt them to rent some space. Here, too, promotional ideas can abound. For example, you could offer anyone working within a certain radius (maybe three miles) a great deal on space, perhaps in return for a six-month commitment to help stabilize revenue.

Here’s another promotional possibility: Offer the conference room, on a space-available basis, to non-tenants for a modest fee—over and above anything that would be charged to tenants. If folks use the conference room repeatedly, it may not be long before they conclude that becoming a self-storage tenant makes economic and logistical sense. If nothing else, it gets people into the facility—and that’s always a good thing.

Another idea: Host a local art show or entertainment event at the storage facility. Besides using some units to showcase items or to serve as food and drinks, the operator also could “dress up” a few other units to show off creative uses, such as wine storage and records storage.

For those willing and able to view self-storage in innovative ways, community-friendly and economically sound uses can flourish.

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