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65,000-square-foot facility should open this fall

From wine to information, project offers diverse storage options

What’s popping up behind the Jitney Premier on Old Canton Road has been a mystery. There’s been no sign announcing a coming business, but construction workers are busier than ever.

Information management, self-storage units and a wine cellar will be housed under one roof when the 65,000-square- foot facility opens in the fall at 40 Northtown Drive in Jackson.

Owner Robert Lloyd said he traveled the United States before he decided to build StorageMax and RecordMax.

“I developed the concept by traveling all across the country for a period of two years and actually working in records centers in California, Minnesota, Florida and Ohio, and studying how they were built and managed,” Lloyd said.

RecordMax, a vital records management company, will have the capacity to store 125,000 boxes of information via paper documents, and unlimited vault storage for computer tapes, microfilm and microfiche. New boxes will be processed into “the corporate keeper,” a bar-coding and computer software program, and a detailed inventory list is provided to the client. A fire suppression system is built into the temperature and humidity controlled vault, and a security camera monitors all activity.

Two computer software packages will be available. Internet users can enter data, access inventory, and request files via e-mail through “the infokeeper.” People without Internet access can purchase “the minikeeper.”

Although rates have not been determined, Lloyd said they will be competitive in the market. The cost of storing records will be determined by quantity and record activity. For example, a base fee will be charged for storing ‘dead,’ or inactive, records. Storing active records will have additional fees. Files can also be slated for destruction on scheduled dates. “There’s very little access to clients for these records,” Lloyd said. “We’ll have an on-site conference room for clients to use, or we will bring records to their offices.”

Banks, law firms and hospitals make up a majority of the client list, “but any kind of business has a need for this service,” he said.

Available 24 hours a day, “if a law firm needs records, we have a turnaround time of two hours,” said Beverly Roache, marketing director.

Some records are being kept in a temporary location and will be transferred when the new facility is completed.

Lloyd and partner Tommy Thames worked together as appraisers until 1989, when they started building self-storage facilities in the tri-county area. Although they continue appraisal work, they currently own 2,000 storage units, including Lakeland Parkway Self Storage, where the home office is located.

Lloyd also owns Storage Park Development, a company actively developing self-storage projects in the southeastern U.S., and Storage Park Properties, a storage facility management company. Lloyd is the sole owner of the development and management companies.

“The records storage was a natural progression after doing an extensive feasibility study and determining the needs for central Mississippi for a state-of-the-art records management center,” Lloyd said.

Storing wine will be possible in the $25,000 temperature and humidity-controlled wine cellar in StorageMax. Antique doors, scored floors and dim lighting will lead to individual lockers, with a total capacity of several hundred cases of wine. A back-up generator system will be in place to prevent damage in case of a power outage, Lloyd said.

“Serious wine enthusiasts make trips to the wine country and have boxes of wine shipped back,” said Roache. “It gives people the opportunity to make investments and store more wine than they would have the opportunity to do.”

The self-storage facility will have 425 units in the two-level facility. A 5 by 5 foot storage locker will cost about $35 per month. In the metro area, there are approximately 65 to 70 self-storage facilities. “That’s roughly 2.5 million square feet of self-storage space in the metro Jackson area,” Lloyd said. “For self-storage, the market appears to leading to a saturation level due to the new facilities in the metro area.”

Ellis Construction of New Orleans is the general contractor for the project.

About Lynne W. Jeter

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