Storage facility could close


POSTED: Thursday, January 21, 2010

The future of Waikiki Self Storage is up in the air after the business and building owner failed to agree on lease terms.

With the uncertainty, several customers at Waikiki Self Storage at 1687A Kalauokalani Way, near the Hawaii Convention Center, decided yesterday to move their belongings to another storage facility.

Bentley Johnson said he received a call from the manager earlier this week about the possible closure, and was busy hauling several generations worth of belongings out of 14 locker units.

He decided to transfer the items to Aloha Island Self Storage at King and Kalakaua streets, which is not as convenient for him.

“;Right now, it's the best we could do,”; said Johnson, who had rented for the past four years.

The items include personal belongings that Johnson brought from Oregon after his move to Hawaii, which include memorabilia belonging to his grandparents.

Lindy Riddnour, general manager of Silver Oaks Management LLC, the California-based parent company that runs Waikiki Self Storage, at first confirmed the facility was closing down by the end of the month after a five-year run due to rents that she called “;outrageous.”;

Late yesterday afternoon, however, Riddnour said a possible partnership with another storage company was in the works, but that details would likely not be hammered out until later in the week.

Customers who prepaid for storage units, as well as those opting to move out this week, can get a refund from Silver Oaks, she said.

Waikiki Self Storage, which shares a building with Hawaiian Brian's Billiards, offers 1,100 storage units.

A total of 664 were occupied, according to Waikiki Self Storage manager Jenny Rodrigues, who was doing her best to field customer questions yesterday.

The rates at Waikiki Self Storage are competitive, according to Rodrigues, at $39 per month for the smallest size to $268 per month for the largest size. But competition also has grown, as more self-storage facilities opened up in the neighborhood.

Customers include vendors from Palama Supermarket down the street, along with small-business owners and contractors.

The building is owned by 1680 Kapiolani LLC, a mainland entity that could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Richard Wada, a Honolulu attorney representing 1680 Kapiolani, said Waikiki Self Storage failed to meet terms of the lease, including rent payments.

Earlier this week, the office at the self-storage center was cleared out, with nothing remaining but one desk and a telephone. Staff includes Rodrigues and two part-time workers, who have not yet heard whether they will be transferred.

Silver Oaks also owns self-storage facilities on the Big Island (one in Kona and one in Hilo) and Kauai.

Several other self-storage companies, meanwhile, jumped at the opportunity to offer their services to customers of Waikiki Self Storage.

StorQuest Self Storage, which is operated by The William Warren Group in Santa Monica, Calif., runs Aloha Island Storage on King and Kalakaua streets, about half a mile away.

Marketing director Michelle Bakva said StorQuest was offering Waikiki Self Storage customers three months free, or one month free with the complimentary use of a moving truck.

StorQuest has six storage facilities on Oahu, including Kapolei, Wahiawa, Waipahu, Kakaako, Kalihi and Waikiki.