Some client relationships take years of development before they bear fruit. Just ask Christopher Halliburton and Brandon Himmel of D.H.S. Development Corp. and The Corcoran Group.
Tuck-it-Away Mini Storage and its owner, Nicholas Sprayregen, made headlines when Sprayregen fought an eminent domain battle for years to keep his 80,000 s/f flagship property at 3261 Broadway in Upper Manhattan from transferring to the ownership of Columbia University.
What wasn’t in the news was the vacant space in Sprayregen’s disputed building, which Halliburton tried to lease throughout the protracted legal battle.
“We only rented one space, and it became impossible to get anything done,” Halliburton told Real Estate Weekly. “But it developed a strong friendship between me and the owners of Tuck-it-Away.”
When the courts finally decided in favor of the expanding the university, Halliburton’s patience — and his knowledge of the area’s industrial market — paid off.
Tuck-it-Away had thousands of storage clients whose collections of keepsakes and off-season wardrobes needed a new home.
Over the next 15 months, the company purchased three new properties, totaling nearly 150,000 s/f: the 88,000 s/f 845 East 136th Street, 2181 Jerome Avenue (20,000 s/f) and 1575 Bronx River Avenue (38,000 s/f).
The combined price was approximately $15 million, according to Halliburton.
Storage tenants need easy road access, for when clients are moving in and out with trucks and vans, but also a nearby subway for when the typical car-less New York makes smaller trips to visit their stuff, he said. And other appealing features, like the 20-foot ceilings in the Jerome Avenue building, never hurt.
“I went through my mental rolodex to see where in Manhattan and the Bronx was there a space that was zoned properly that would allow the use that would be economically feasible,” Halliburton said.
With the legal battle for the Manhattanville property behind them, Tuck-it-Away is recreating itself in the Bronx.
“The flagship building is literally two blocks from Yankee Stadium,” Halliburton said.