Three-story self-storage project approved on Northshore Drive, in Knoxville

Credit: Barry Byrd Architecture

Knoxville planners have approved a three-story self-storage facility on Northshore Drive.

Last month, the Metropolitan Planning Commission heard an application for the project, which would be located behind the Knoxville Cleaners building. According to the application, the climate-controlled storage facility would include a total of 103,512 square feet of space. The approval was granted on the condition that a landscape architect work with MPC on a plan to buffer the building on the front and back sides.

The 4-acre property on Northshore Drive has been listed for sale at a price of $1.25 million.

Knoxville has seen several climate-controlled self-storage facilities in the development pipeline in recent months. In July, a Memphis REIT announced it will invest $9.1 million in a proposed 758-unit self storage facility near West Town Mall.

Meanwhile, a group that includes Ed Campbell and Ed Drummond recently opened Climate Storage, a three-story facility at the intersection of Hardin Valley Road and the Pellissippi Parkway. The same group is currently developing another multi-story facility at Middlebrook Pike and Joe Hinton Road.

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Dandridge self-storage expansion gaining momentum

Multi-story, climate-controlled storage facilities have been filling the development pipeline in Knoxville recently, but it’s not the only place in East Tennessee where that trend is taking root.

In Dandridge, Do-It Yourself Storage this spring opened its third building, a 221-unit structure near the intersection of I-40 and Highway 25-70. Each of DIY’s buildings has two stories, and the newest one includes two sets of stairs and two storage lifts. The buildings are unmanned, with customers able to rent units using an on-site kiosk or DIY’s website.

Owner Megan Maple said her competitors were initially skeptical about whether anyone would choose a second-floor unit, but she said those floors are full in her first two buildings, and they began renting second-floor units in the newest building last month.

“The second floor is $10 cheaper than the ground floor,” she said. “People rent on the second floor to save $10.”

Maple said her facility draws customers from a large region, including Newport, White Pine, Morristown and even Knoxville. While many of those renters don’t need climate-controlled space, she said DIY has kept prices low to fill the buildings up.

A number of multi-story, climate-controlled facilities are on the radar screen in East Tennessee. A Charlotte-based developer is planning a 758-unit facility near West Town Mall, in Knoxville, while a multi-story facility on Middlebrook Pike is currently under construction.

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Large Self Storage Facility Planned Near West Town Mall

By Josh Flory

A Memphis-based REIT announced this week that it will invest $9.1 million in a proposed 758-unit self storage facility near West Town Mall.

In a news release, Jernigan Capital said construction is expected to begin immediately and be finished in the second quarter of 2018. The developer is Charlotte-based Pamlico Investments LLC, and the facility will be managed by CubeSmart.

In April, the Metropolitan Planning Commission approved Pamlico’s plan for a four-story, 96,500-square-foot facility on a 1.3 acre tract at the intersection of Montvue Road and Interstate 40.

The new project is only the latest multi-story, climate-controlled self storage facility to hit the Knoxville market in recent months. A group that includes Ed Campbell and Ed Drummond recently opened Climate Storage, a three-story facility at the intersection of Hardin Valley Road and the Pellissippi Parkway. The same group is currently developing another facility at Middlebrook Pike and Joe Hinton Road.

Meanwhile, the conversion of a former furniture store on Parkside Drive, overlooking Interstate 40, was completed last year.

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Self storage facility opens in Hardin Valley

By Josh Flory

A new self storage facility opened for business this weekend in one of Knoxville’s fastest-growing communities.

Climate Storage is a three-story, climate-controlled facility at the corner of Hardin Valley Road and the Pellissippi Parkway. It’s owned by four partners, and also includes more than 200 drive-up storage units.

Ed Campbell, one of the partners, said he feels the Hardin Valley community is at the epicenter of Knoxville’s growth, and is a great location because it would be difficult for competitors to find a better spot.

“That’s what you worry about in this business, somebody making one good project into two crappy projects by throwing one up near you,” he said. “That’s probably unlikely, based on what we have and where we have it.”

Campbell said another group had planned a storage facility across the street, but instead the two sides joined forces to develop Climate Storage. Campbell and his partner, Ed Drummond, then took a stake in a different storage project that the other group was developing, on Middlebrook Pike.

Chris Bailey, a manager for Climate Storage, said the facility will feature Wi-Fi throughout the property, approximately 90 security cameras and, eventually, a website that allows customers to rent and access a unit at any time.

The third story of the building has not yet been divided into individual units, and the owners will wait to see what the demand is for various sizes. Campbell explained that “you kind of want to use it to scratch where people are itching. You won’t know that until people get there.”

The climate-controlled portion of the facility is visible from the Pellissippi Parkway, while the roll-up units are laid out to the east. When it comes to deciding the percentage of climate- versus non-climate units on a project, Campbell said that it’s “kind of an art and science, it’s not for the faint of heart to figure all that out.”

“When I first thought about doing storage I thought, ‘Well, this will be as easy as falling off a log,’ and I found out it’s not,” he said. “I’m so glad I’ve got a partner who’s done them.”

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Two self-storage projects taking shape in Lenoir City

By Josh Flory

A veteran operator and a newcomer to the industry have targeted the same stretch of Highway 321, in Lenoir City, for new storage facilities.

Volunteer Storage, which has six properties in East Tennessee, is converting the former Great Wakes boat dealership into climate-controlled storage units and outdoor storage spaces.

Buddy Brackfield of Brackfield and Associates, which owns Volunteer Storage, said the project will include 80 inside storage units, more than 100 outside spaces for campers, boats and RVs, plus 3,200 square feet of inside storage for boats and vehicles. The facility, which is nearing completion, will also include an indoor wash bay and more than a dozen security cameras, and will be accessible to customers 24 hours a day.

Brackfield said his team tore out approximately 9,000 square feet of finished space in the building, converting offices and kitchen space to storage cubicles, but said they didn’t disturb any of the property’s firewalls.

He said the facility will not only serve the Loudon County market but is also convenient to Farragut and West Knoxville. “Obviously the growth for Lenoir City is northbound,” he added, “and we’re on the northbound side of (I-40). We’ve got easy access across 321, and so it makes good sense … where we are for this location.” Continue reading

Knoxville self-storage sector sees two deals in November

A pair of self-storage deals in November helped the Knoxville market end 2016 on a high note.

Aaron Super Storage, at 6626 Asheville Highway, was sold for $3,875,000, while a portfolio of eight facilities that included 415,616 square feet of storage space was sold by Storage Pros Management LLC. The Storage Pros transaction totaled more than $34 million.

2016 was also a strong year for development activity. New projects in the pipeline include a multi-story facility at the corner of Middlebrook Pike and Joe Hinton Road, and a facility at the intersection of Pellissippi Parkway and Hardin Valley Road.

For a market report that summarizes 2016 activity, contact Josh Flory at 865.253.0896.