SCHENECTADY – A company with local roots offers a 700-unit self-storage facility on Erie Boulevard and Seneca Street.
Diamond Point Development is proposing to replace the Red-Kap sales office and warehouse at 1806 Erie Blvd. with the three-story building. It also purchases the vacant land adjacent to Red-Kap, but has no immediate plans for construction there.
Red-Kap was a long-standing fuel distribution company that operated a network of gas stations and convenience stores when it was acquired by Stewart’s Shops in late 2020.
Diamond Point principals Aaron and Jason Sommer, natives of Schenectady and graduates of Niskayuna High School, are looking to open a new chapter on the Red-Kap site.
The three-story temperature-controlled storage facility would be the first Class A self-service storage space in Schenectady, said Aaron Sommer.
He added that it would be a visual upgrade to one of the city’s main entrances, with an architecturally designed exterior of brick and stucco rather than the industrial aesthetic of steel and cement. that some storage facilities present.
The proposal requires approval of the site plan and is on the agenda for the July 14 meeting of the Schenectady Planning Commission.
The Sommer brothers and their commercial real estate business are based in Atlanta. This would be their eighth self-storage facility. They broke new ground three months ago in Portland, Maine, for their first in the Northeast.
Once the approvals are in hand, Diamond Point expects to pave the way in fall 2021 and open in summer 2022.
The brothers often return home to visit and what they have seen in recent years has been the impetus for this latest project.
“Honestly just looking at everything going on in downtown Schenectady, it’s hard to believe that could happen growing up in the 1990s,” said Aaron Sommer. “That’s really what made us come back up there. “
Another factor is the proliferation of rental housing downtown.
“Apartment dwellers are part of our clientele, but it is also commercial,” he said. “All the facilities in the area are full, so that was a no-brainer.
“It’s nice to come home and do something in our hometown.”
The new facility will be managed by Life Storage, a Buffalo-based real estate investment trust that specializes in self-storage facilities.
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