No room for the Picasso in the new digs

Self-storage industry benefits from business closings, downsizing

Jan.January 29, 2009 10:15 PM

What becomes of art collections and wine cellars that can no longer fit in newly downsized living quarters? In Manhattan, they most likely end up in high-end self-storage facilities, one of the few types of real estate seeing an increase in business.

In December, two luxury self-storage facilities — Cirker and Hayes — merged to form Cirker Hayes, which now operates a combined total of 200,000 square feet of storage space in Manhattan. The company, which specializes in fine art storage, has two storage buildings, one at 305 East 61st Street and the other at 430 West 55th Street, and recently added a wine storage unit to its 61st Street building.

According to Peter Lewis, the president of Cirker Hayes, the company has seen a burst of activity in the high-end self-storage industry recently because of the economy.

“Half our business in the last four months has been a direct result of the changing environment,” said Lewis. “We see the Park Avenue folks downsizing.”

He added that art stored in the buildings used to be moved in and out more frequently, but now more clients are opting for longer-term leases on their storage space.

It’s not only individual apartment owners using storage facilities. Lewis noted that he’s also seeing more business from art collectors who have pulled consignment pieces out of galleries that they fear will go bankrupt; galleries that are closing and need to store art; and law firms with expensive furniture that they don’t need because they are moving to smaller offices.

Even some retailers are turning to storage space. Tim Dietz, vice president of communications and government relations for the non-profit Self-Storage Association, said self-storage is being used “more and more for commerce.”

“They are used by entrepreneurs who keep low overhead; they have an eBay account and relationship with a couple of wholesalers,” Dietz said.

Lewis said two Upper East Side retailers — one that sold rugs and another that sold silver — recently closed their stores and came to Cirker Hayes’ facility.

“They were paying $200 to $500 a square foot for their storefronts,” said Lewis. “Here they can take a 400-square-foot room and run the business out of there. They’ll pay around $80 to $100 a square foot with us.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Gordon Ramsey and his Lucky Cat restaurant (Lucky Cat)
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
Gordon Ramsay to open first South Florida restaurant in Miami Beach
(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)
Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)
Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio
Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio
HFZ's Ziel Feldman (The XI)
HFZ set to lose stake in $2B XI condo project
HFZ set to lose stake in $2B XI condo project
What tenants pay at Aby Rosen’s 980 Madison Avenue
What tenants pay at Aby Rosen’s 980 Madison Avenue
What tenants pay at Aby Rosen’s 980 Madison Avenue
(Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
The Real Deal’s Prodigy exposé wins NY Press Club Award
The Real Deal’s Prodigy exposé wins NY Press Club Award
The penthouse in Lightstone's 40 East End was the most expensive contract, with developer David Edelstein of TriStar Capital selling the second priciest (Lightstone, Getty)
After early-July lull, Manhattan luxury deals are on the upswing again
After early-July lull, Manhattan luxury deals are on the upswing again
Brad Inman and Beringer Capital's Perry Miele (Inman, Beringer)
Inman acquired by private equity firm Beringer Capital
Inman acquired by private equity firm Beringer Capital
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...