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Self-Storage Facility Opening on Ellicott Street

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.

ACphoto_(6).JPG“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 5×10 to 10×20, 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


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  • Travelrrr

    I wonder if Roger plans to do anything at the retail level of this building. It would be nice to see him complement the other buildings on that block with an additional storefront….

  • biniszkiewicz

    Retail level??? The basement on the Washington Street side is dock level on the Ellicott Street side. This building was constructed as a warehouse for a Main Street department store. It was constructed at dock level, not grade level. There is no ‘retail’ level (nor is there demand for such).
    Great reincarnation! Fills a void in the downtown amenity menu and seems likely to do well. On another note, I applaud Roger’s philosophy eschewing government subsidies.

  • Chris

    Does this mean that Storage Wars is coming to downtown Buffalo!!??

  • jtrzewitcowski

    This is great news for down there. People always are need storage.

  • rustbeltcity

    Brilliant use for this space. Smart thinking.

  • gabrielxs

    Sorry to sound like a jerk, but why do we care? I think this can be a bad thing. Not a productive use of what should be prime space.

  • biniszkiewicz

    Re: “not productive use of what should be prime space”.
    A) If the building is useful, as opposed to vacant, then it’s being productive. If it’s paying its own way and then some, it’s productive. Storage is a product in scarce supply downtown. Roger is turning a vacant building into something very productive, it seems to me.
    B) Maybe by ‘productive use’, you mean office space or retail or residential. Are you familiar with the oversupply of office space downtown now and looming on the near horizon? More empty offices help no one. Do you know how expensive putting residential space on line is? Are you familiar with the vacancy rates for retail? (Roger knows; he’s done residential and office and retail, including some of each just across the street.)

  • gabrielxs

    Fair enough, there are always better uses for any urban space. Maybe it may be better than office space.
    First, storage facilities are almost always on the periphery of downtowns. This is because they are a dead spaces like airport hangers, warehouses, walmarts, etc. They don’t interact with the surrounding community.
    Second, they are not welcoming spaces to downtowners.Similar to surface parking lots they don’t display a sense of success or friendliness.
    Third, in terms of productivity it creates none to few jobs.
    Fourth, it is financially only beneficial to only a few people Roger and maybe a banker.
    And I don’t even think it worth him being attacked for it.I am not saying he shouldn’t build it. It is his building. But I don’t think it is worth being commended for. That was my only point.

  • BlueN’Gold716

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know the final project costs?