The downtown community is about to have a new, much needed amenity for use by its businesses and residents - a professionally managed, fully climate-controlled self storage facility. Late last year Roger Trettel's acquired the old Hengerer's Department Store warehouse building at 290 Ellicott Street. His original plan involved a mixed-use development consisting of approximately 20 residential units on the upper floors, first floor commercial space, and indoor enclosed parking.
After considerable review and analysis, the residential option could not be viably accomplished without substantial public assistance and would not qualify for historic preservation tax credits. Trettel, with three downtown rehabs completed including the Buehl Block, 285 Ellicott Street and the buildings housing the Main Washington Exchange, has a basic philosophy not undertake projects that cannot stand on their own without government subsidies. Given this, and the relative lack of demand for commercial office space, Trettel and his team went back to the drawing board.
"After looking at this building from every angle, it became apparent that the best use, and frankly the most needed use, was what it was built for in the first place - warehouse and storage," says Trettel. "Our market study showed that the downtown professional and growing residential community does not have a readily accessible, clean, secure and professionally-managed storage facility. This building is built like a fortress, is close to everything, and is perfect for a climate-controlled storage facility. We brought in Storage Central to master lease and operate the facility. "
The building is steel and concrete construction, is fully sprinklered, heated and air conditioned, has enclosed and heated loading docks, and has 24-hour video security. The building has three full floors of steel storage units with roll up doors, ranging in size from 5x10 to 10x20, starting at $75/month. In addition to the 225 steel storage units, the old fur vaults have been converted to several large climate controlled records storage rooms.
Storage Central plans to cater to downtown professional businesses for file and equipment storage and residential loft and apartment dwellers for personal belongings. Space is also available for motorcycle and scooter storage, and just about anything that cannot be squeezed into a downtown apartment. If you don't want to schlep your stuff out to the suburbs or miles away in some fringe area, Storage Central might be your answer. Storage Central is taking reservations now for an anticipated September opening. For additional information and reservations go to http://www.storagecentral.us/.