Climate unchanging at new storage facility

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Dave Brach knows what fluctuating temperatures and humidity can do to the things people keep in storage units. The deteriorating documents and photographs. The cracked furniture. And in his case, a pair of leather boots that turned green with mildew.

That’s why Dave and Ann Brach said they’re excited about expanding their Grand Junction storage business by opening an interior, climate-controlled facility.

The new facility isn’t necessary for some of the things squirreled away in storage units — old lawn chairs and barbecue grills, for example. But the couple said the facility will serve businesses that need a safe and secure place to keep records and inventory as well as individuals storing everything from family heirlooms to seasonal decorations.

The Brachs also cater to customers who need help moving either across town or across the country.

“It’s paying to attention to people and their needs,” Ann said.

The Brachs constructed their interior storage facility at 2497 Power Road. The building sits across a parking lot from their self-storage facility. The couple also operates a mini storage facility across Broadway at 411 Brach Drive.

The facilities are located on part of the land Dave’s parents, Louie and Betty Brach, purchased 60 years ago along Broadway just past the bridge over the Colorado River. Development on the property included Brach’s Market as well as restaurants and a movie theater.
A portion of the property also was donated for the Colorado Riverfront Trail.

The interior storage facility is located inside a nearly 19,000-square-foot, two-story building. The building is constructed nearly entirely of metal to reduce the risk of fire.

The Brachs designed their interior,  climate-controlled storage facility after conducting research and touring similar facilities in Denver and Phoenix.

The facility in Grand Junction houses 172 units in three sizes: 5 feet by 5 feet, 5 feet by 10 feet and 10 feet by 10 feet. The units offer sufficient space overhead to accommodate tall items, including kayaks and paddleboards, Ann said.

The facility offers full access to customers with disabilities. Ground floor units are reserved to offer ease of access.

The facility also features two covered, drive-in bays and a cargo lift capable of moving up to 2,000 pounds.

Video surveillance equipment and motion detectors ensure security.

Computerized equipment monitors and controls both temperature and humidity inside the building. That’s crucial for some items customers store there, Dave said.

Businesses rely on climate-controlled storage to preserve documents. Individuals and families rely on climate-controlled storage to preserve furniture, clothing and heirlooms. Changes in humidity can be particularly damaging to wooden furniture. Leathers and other organic materials also are susceptible to damage from fluctuating temperatures and humidity, he said.

It’s better to keep some items in a climate-controlled storage facility than an attic, crawlspace or even a garage, Ann said.

The Brachs said they see demand for their expanding storage business from several markets. There are millennials who tend to live in smaller spaces, but also own a lot of recreational equipment. There are baby boomers in the process of moving out of large houses and into smaller quarters. And there are individuals and families moving into and out of the Grand Valley.

Some business startups use storage for inventory until they open their own locations. People also use storage for seasonal clothing and decorations, Ann said.

The Brachs offer discounts to nonprofit organizations and active military personnel.

The Brachs attribute the success of the business they’ve operated for nearly 25 years to providing clean and secure facilities and quality customer service. “You get treated the best you could possibly imagine,” Dave said.

Opening a climate-controlled storage facility adds to what the business offers, Ann said. “There is, I think, an opportunity.”

Dave said he’s excited about what the facility will prevent. The deteriorating documents. The cracked furniture. And those green boots.