MERRIMACK — An area real estate developer has begun a new business venture in the world of self-storage, and will eventually own the largest facility of its kind in northern New England.
Chris Ross, who previously restored a 150-year-old barn in Merrimack, has just opened Synergy Self Storage at 403 Daniel Webster Highway.
“This has been about a 15-year dream of mine. I have been waiting for the right time and the right opportunity,” said Ross, who is accustomed to buying and selling residential properties.
Located behind Merrimack Vision Care, the new self-storage building is visible from the highway. The two-story building opened on April 1 and features about 400 units, ranging from 25 square feet to 400 square feet.
Although the first phase of construction is complete, a second phase of construction will start next year, which is planned to include three more levels for a total of five floors and more than 1,200 individual storage units.
Once complete, Synergy Self Storage will provide more than 140,000 square feet of storage space, and hold the title as the largest exclusively climate-controlled self-storage facility in northern New England, Ross said.
“I am excited, but probably more nervous. This is a large investment and a huge undertaking for myself and my business partner,” said Ross. “Right now we are just trying to get this off the ground.”
He believes that Synergy Self Storage fills an unmet need in the area, specifically because it goes beyond just heat and air conditioning for climate control. The storage units include air dehumidifier systems that extract all moisture out of the floor space so there is no chance for mold or deterioration of valuables, Ross said.
“We have all been there. You go back to a storage unit, and because of drastic temperature changes, the clothes can smell musty, furniture may have an odor and paper is soggy to the touch,” he said.
The HVAC and dehumidifier system used at Synergy Self Storage addresses three major factors of material degradation — excessive humidity, airborne pollutants and extreme temperature swings, Ross said, adding climate control will protect valuable furniture and paintings.
Ross has also considered security when designing the new facility, which includes the latest technology in video surveillance.
Monadnock Security Systems of New Ipswich has installed Digital High Definition video, low-light capable cameras and computer controlled building access.
“These type of cameras are used frequently in government installations and correctional facilities, so it was great to be able to install such a high-end system in a commercial environment,” Ben Colby, project manager for Monadnock Security Systems, said in a release.
The building is made of steel and concrete to reduce the chance of combustibility, and it has a sprinkler system. The perimeter of the building is insulated with high performance spray polyurethane foam insulation to further ensure consistent temperatures year-round, Ross said.