Creating space for your stuff

TRACY – During a lifetime, people tend to accumulate a lot of stuff they have no immediate use for but can’t bear to part with. And that stuff takes up a lot of room.

As of Aug. 16, Tracy area residents have had another option as K&D properties opened a new self-storage facility in town.

“We’ve been thinking about this for a few years,” said Bill Chukuske, who built the facility with partner Dale Johnson III and their wives Deb Chukuske and Kim Johnson. “Both of us have rental properties, both residential and commercial. Over the years we got a lot of calls from people asking about storage for their boats and jet skis.”

The partners researched different styles of units, the shapes, the doors and the materials. They decided on a versatile all-concrete and metal design that could be built according to available plans.

The K&D storage building is built with a steel frame and siding and is designed for 32 units, four of which are 10 by 10 feet. The others are 40 feet long at right angles to the length of the building with doors at each end.

Each 40-foot unit can be subdivided into two units by installing a partition wall, one of which can be as small as 10 by 10 and the other as large as 10 by 30.

The units are not climate controlled and have no electricity, which made the permitting process very simple.

“The only thing we had to get was a building permit from the City of Tracy,” Chukuske said. “We built it local, all the material was purchased at Tracy ACE. Dale Johnson III construction firm put it up.”

Johnson’s construction firm is also putting up another storage facility in Marshall.

The Chukuskes and Johnsons have a 50/50 partnership. Deb Chukuske and Kim Johnson will handle most inquiries, contracts, billing and collections.

Self-storage is considered a fairly safe and profitable investment, with a lot of ifs. Land value and construction costs are a consideration, and, of course, the three most important factors of business success: location, location, location.

The K&D facility is located 23 miles from facilities in Marshall and 17 miles from a facility near Curie – but only a block away from the other facility in Tracy.

“We have friends and acquaintances that have storage units in other towns,” Chukuske said. “The other storage facility in town is full to capacity, which shows the need.”

So if the business is a safe investment and maintenance is so low, why isn’t everybody doing it?

“You have to have the money to start with,” Kim Johnson said. “You have to get it built and hope you’ll have the income to pay it off for however many years it takes.”

Chukuske said the estimated payback time on their investment is about five years if all goes well.