For years it was the neighborhood Hy-Vee, but when the grocer moved away to a larger store, the building sat empty for nearly a year in the suburban Overland Park neighborhood. StorageMart converted the grocery store into a storage unit Overland Park space and customers were eager to rent before construction was complete.
“When Cinzetti’s found out we were going to make the old Hy-Vee into a new storage center, they were the first ones in line,” said Don Youngstrom, who manages the newest StorageMart facility in Kansas City. The Italian restaurant was already a StorageMart customer but the new storage site is much closer to their location. “They’ll have much faster access to their catering supplies and inventory.”
“It’s a real neighborhoody-neighborhood,” said the veteran store manager, who began meeting neighbors before the store opened in January. The main building housed a former Hy-Vee grocery store within walking distance of a large, residential neighborhood. “In the beginning, a lot of neighbors dropped by to check out storage, but they really wanted to see what their old Hy-Vee looked like now. “It’s a beautiful building. The store fits right into the neighborhood, it looks like a professional building.”
Folks toured the main building, walking throughout the 452 newly-created units and pointed out where the meat department and the produce departments used to be located. “Our sales area has a huge wall of windows, an area where the restaurant used to be. It makes for a bright, cheery place to do business,” Youngstrom said. “One guy who used to work at the grocery store got a big kick when we saw that the old employee restrooms had been converted into 10x10 storage units – we were even able to keep the original doors,” Youngstrom said.
The three buildings house 684 units or 80,276 square feet of self storage. Three covered loading bays make it easy for customers to move their belongings into regular or climate controlled units. It’s a far cry from the self storage of the 1970s; it’s a storage facility for the future. But StorageMart is still the new kid on this block.
“Last week, some guy reminded me about Mr. Putt-Putt, a miniature golf course that was no more than 100 yards from here about 30 years ago,” reminisced Youngstrom, who has roots in Kansas City. “Man, I had almost forgotten about that!”