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Self-Storage Business Expands Footprint This Summer

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Main Street Storage in Niverville is about expand, in collaboration with their neighbour, the owners of the the Niverville Animal Hospital. Justin Braun

A business in Niverville is about to undergo a significant expansion. This summer, Main Street Storage will be adding 10,000 square feet of new self-storage, with two new buildings and two acres of new outdoor parking being added to their property at 299 Main Street.

Work on the new buildings will get underway in July and is expected to be complete by late fall. The new parking will be finished much sooner.

“When we initially developed the site and built the first building at 299 Main Street, there were definitely some unknowns,” says Ray Dowse, who owns the business with his wife Cara. “Our best projections were made about what we thought might work for types of storage and mix of sizes, whether there would be uptake on the outdoor parking, how long it would take to begin to fill up, pricing, etc.”

The self-storage began at 226 Main Street and only expanded its footprint to the larger facility at 299 Main Street last summer.

“The first steps included a lot of planning and a significant initial investment in earthwork and drainage plan on the 1.5 acres of land,” Dowse adds. “We enclosed it with a compound and gate, automated it with key fobs and door-openers and a ground loop for easy exit, then added in security cameras, parking lines, and stall numbers as well as the first building.”

That first building, which opened last year, is partially climate-controlled. And even before it was finished, the husband-and-wife team had begun formulating plans to expand further.

The two new buildings, Dowse says, will add 85 additional self-storage lockers, bringing the total at the site to 134. One of the new buildings will be fully climate-controlled, while the second will not. Units will vary in size from five-by-ten to 12-by-20. The larger units will be big enough to park a vehicle inside.

“Construction on the two brand-new buildings is expected to begin in July with the pouring of the foundations,” says Dowse. “Then the epoxy floor coatings will be done before the framing of the buildings. But with delays in the delivery of the steel, we don’t expect the buildings themselves to start construction until September… On completion, the area from the front of the compound to the back of the new buildings will be paved completely, and that will need to be done before freeze-up this fall.”

The original site offered about 60 stalls of various widths and lengths, but Dowse says it was more of an experiment to see if they could generate additional revenue from the property’s vacant space.

The answer to that venture was a resounding yes. When they realized the high demand for secure parking in town, the Dowses got in touch with the owners of the neighbouring property to see if there was an opportunity to collaborate.

Ron and Eric Hamilton, who own the Niverville Animal Hospital, also control approximately two acres of vacant land behind their building.

“After some dialogue, we were able to work out a plan to collaborate with one another where Cara and I utilize our existing systems, management, and infrastructure with the self-storage operations and combine it with the empty land next door owned by the Hamiltons, which will be converted into a finished parking site,” Dowse explains.

In the end, the new parking site will be able to accommodate approximately 100 parking stalls with sizing from 10-by-20 up to 12-by-40 pull-through stalls.

“Cara and I are excited to have the Hamiltons join us on this part of the facility expansion and look forward to what the enhancements at the site will be able to provide our customers,” says Dowse. “There will be some organized chaos at the site for the balance of the year, but once construction is complete we are really excited for what the site will offer from a self-storage perspective.”

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