Want to own Hannibal Lecter’s storage unit?
The self-storage facility featured in the 1991 film “Silence of the Lambs” is going up for auction April 24. The 105,900-square-foot facility, at 7502 Thomas Blvd. in Pittsburgh, also was the first self-storage business in the city, according to commercial real estate broker Bill Matthews.
Matthews, a senior sales associate with Howard Hanna Commercial Real Estate Services who is marketing the auction, said bidding is slated to start at $100,000. The property belonged to Henry Focer, who died in September. The facility is being sold as part of his estate.
In the film, Jodie Foster plays FBI agent Clarice Starling, who’s tracking a serial killer with help from an imprisoned cannibal named Hannibal Lecter, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. The facility was the setting for Lecter’s storage unit, which Foster’s character visits in search of clues.
Matthews learned of the cinematic history of the building after asking about an old wooden sign he found stored in the office. The hand-painted sign read “Your Self Storage.”
The owner told Matthews about the “Silence of the Lambs” connection before his death.
“What the owner told me was the filmmakers asked, ‘Do you mind if we put a sign on the building?’” Matthews recalled. “The owner said, ‘No, not at all, just put my phone number on it.’”
Matthews said the owner’s only regret was not having Foster autograph the sign.
So far, Matthews hasn’t received any inquiries about the property from self-storage operators. Current tenants have been given notice to vacate.
“I believe the best use of the property would be conversion to modern loft office space,” Matthews said. “This facility is about one mile away from Bakery Square, which is where Google has its regional headquarters.”