Not Your Dad's Storage

Nick Huber said his project aims to be state-of-the-art and groundbreaking as for what storage units can look like.

Storage Squad owners Nick Huber and Dan Hagberg are hoping to continue to let their fast growing business grow right around the corner from where they founded it (Cornell University), and set up a large site in Dryden, on Route 13 on a parcel of land neighboring NYSEG.

Storage Squad, founded in 2011 when Huber and Hagberg were Cornell undergrads, has grown all across the country. According to its website, the company’s mission is to treat every customer in a memorable way, and offers those customers “free boxes, free pickup, free delivery and affordable storage.”

The potential expansion would be 79,600-square feet, with 70,000-square feet being rentable storage space via 400 units in five buildings (dubbed “phase one”) and 315 more units following three to four years after the completion of the initial 400 units (dubbed “phase two”). The project aims to be state-of-the-art and groundbreaking as for what storage units can look like, with a design that includes a Cornell-inspired clock tower, brick and ivy.

“We’re trying to build really the first, and only, aesthetically pleasing storage facility in Tompkins County,” Huber said. “There’s only one other one that has paved asphalt drives. There’s only one other one that has gated entrances. And none of them have split-block façade. We want to have ivy growing up on our [brick walls] to make it really nice to drive by, and it’ll make it really nice to drive by. I think a lot of people, what they don’t like about self-storage is it doesn’t look nice, so that’s something where we’re trying to make it something where people enjoy driving past our business.”

Huber also dismissed any concerns residents might have about added traffic on Route 13.

“The traffic is actually very minimal,” he said. “We found it’ll be about six cars per day per 100 units. We’re going to have about 700 rental units, so that’ll be about 40-some cars a day. This road sees about 18,000 cars a day. So this will have a very minimal impact on the current traffic flow.”

Storage Squad was hoping to get final site plan approval during a town board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17. However, the board can’t vote on the item before the project gets a special permit approved by zoning – something that should be voted on in the coming weeks. Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner noted that she was a fan of the project however, even though she wasn’t usually “a fan of storage space.”

Huber emphasized how excited Storage Squad is about the prospects of expanding more of its business right back where it began.

“Dan and I started Storage Squad in 2011 from Cornell with student storage pickup, so when students went home from Cornell, we drove around in trucks and picked up all their boxes. Now we do this is in 12 cities and 10 states across the country, but we still spend a lot of time in Ithaca because it’s our home. Now we’re looking for another city to invest in and we’ve searched all the way from Illinois to Iowa, and Ithaca made the most sense for us. I think we can build a very attractive space here and provide valuable tax dollars for the town. I know it’s a big project, but we’ve done our homework and we’re going to do this the right way.”

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