As one of the closest self-storage facilities to any beach in Southern California, the Storage Outlet offers several unique features, including a laid-back surfer vibe and a refreshing sea breeze.
Angel Gonzalez, property manager at the Huntington Beach facility, said: “If someone moves in, they don’t really have to sweat much because they get that cool ocean breeze.”
The facility sits just a couple of blocks from the famed Pacific Coast Highway.
“It’s a stone’s throw away from the beach,” said Adam Przybylowski, field support manager for the self-storage properties owned by Progressive Realty Partners Inc., including the Storage Outlet. “People like this facility. It’s a (shipping) container facility. And every unit that we have is technically drive-up, so the convenience from a tenant’s aspect is perfect.”
The Huntington Beach facility is one of 15 facilities in Southern California owned by Progressive Realty Partners. In all, the company has developed or managed more than 40 storage facilities.
Joe Lee, IT and marketing manager at Progressive Realty Partners, said many tenants use the Huntington Beach facility to store beach toys, including surfboards and bicycles. “For most of our tenants, the facility is close to home,” Lee said.
Containing the Dust
In addition to the convenience of the location, the use of converted cargo shipping as storage units offers other advantages, Przybylowski said. The containers–ranging in size from 5×8 to 8×40–are tightly sealed, and customers can drive up next to them to load or unload belongings.
“The containers themselves are pretty airtight, so there is no dust or anything that can get into them,” Gonzalez said.
At most self-storage facilities, Przybylowski said, a certain amount of air and dust enters the units. But because the units at the Storage Outlet are compact shipping containers, dust and pests can’t get in, Przybylowski said.
“It’s a lot cleaner,” Przybylowski said. “At a conventional facility, there is usually a certain amount of air and dust that gets into the units. But since this facility uses cargo containers, they are very compacted so air (and pests) can’t gain access.”
Przybylowski said the previous owner purchased the containers from a shipping company and converted them into storage units.
“It’s really unique, actually,” Przybylowski said. “There are a few others like this, but it’s very few and far between.”
The Storage Outlet comprises 288 units. Rent ranges from roughly $115 to $400 a month.
“We have eight cameras on the property that monitor the whole property,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve never had any issues with regards to break-ins.”
The cameras monitor the front gate, Gonzalez said. Also, every tenant has an individual code for a unit so that when the customer enters the facility, Storage Outlet knows everyone’s whereabouts, he said.
“We also do lock checks every day–and twice a day if we can–to maintain the security of the property,” Gonzalez said.
Sophia the Cat
The facility also has a mascot–Sophia, a gray tabby cat.
“She’s a long-term resident,” Gonzalez said. “Actually, from what I’ve been told, her mother was abandoned on the property and she had a litter, which we then … took to the Humane Society.”
Sophia was the only kitty that didn’t get adopted.
“So they came back to the original manager who was here and asked if she wanted to keep it, and she did,” Gonzalez said. “So she has been here a total of six years, and we continue to feed her because this is all she knows. This is home for her.”
The Tale of the Jeep
The Storage Outlet has had some other unusual guests over the years, too, Gonzalez said. One day, a man drove into the facility in a World War II Army Jeep with a gun turret mounted on top and a matching trailer to boot, Gonzalez said.
“The funny thing is when he pulled up, he was being followed by the Huntington Beach Police Department,” Gonzalez said. “They wanted to find out what he was doing.”
Gonzalez watched the goings-on from his office window. The cops talked to the man for about half an hour.
“Obviously, the gun turret wasn’t functional,” Gonzalez said. “It was just for aesthetics. But the police officers just couldn’t believe what he was driving.
“He came in here, rented a space and parked it in a 40-foot-long container. He took it back and forth to parades and so forth. He actually did the Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade with the veterans. So it was pretty cool.”
Photos by Troy Anderson