BETCO, Beavers & Virginia Properties: Dam Good Self-Storage

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    About the facility:

    In the heart of a military town in Stafford, Virginia, this Extra Space Storage Facility is owned and developed by Virginia Properties, operated by Extra Space and was designed, manufactured and built by BETCO. The owner of Virginia Properties has developed warehouse buildings in the past that consisted of office space, retail facilities and warehouses. Self-storage was a logical next step for the company. They developed their first Extra Space Storage facility in 2003, the second in 2007 and this is the third facility Virginia Properties has established. Boasting 112,000 sq. ft. of space and 900 units, this three-story self-storage building, along with the two single-story structures that flank it provide for the high demand in the area.

    There is a nearby Marine Base, which is the main officer training and development center for the Marine Corps. The location is also the home to the FBI Academy and Crime Lab, as well as a number of other federal agencies. The “Crossroads of the Corps”, as it is called by the Marines, is the largest employer in the county and provides much of the business demand in the area. Each of these factors make the town itself ideal, but there were other challenges encountered, such as Mother Nature, fifty-pound beavers, floor plan limitations and a split business location. This was a massive job, but an experienced team was brought in to tackle it with ease.

    Challenges

    ed horn construction

    Challenges during self-storage development can be manmade, but that wasn’t the case with this project. Unprecedented springtime rainfall required a game plan to navigate the delays it caused.

    The facility is also located “off the beaten path”, so there was a need to have the main office closer to the main road for visibility purposes, separating it from the self-storage site. On the second floor of the multi-story building faux doors, that required being visible from the outside, were installed. Adding one of the faux doors left an odd amount of floor space at this facility. From that space, the unit was only able to be 2.5 feet deep.

    The most interesting challenge of them all for the owners are the unwelcome tenants near the property. There are nuisance beavers, some up to 50 pounds, which are building dams causing water retention on the Extra Space property, as well as other properties in the area. These Beavers are delaying the as-built measurements from being taken to meet local codes in accordance to storm water. BETCO adjusted their approach to support Virginia Properties complete this project as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    Solutions:

    “When choosing our building partner, we wanted to go with a company that could provide all services under one roof: in-house design, consultation, etc. BETCO was a partner from the beginning and completed the job from start to finish. They didn’t blink an eye at any of the obstacles that were thrown at them and worked 7 days a week to complete the project in a timely manner and were safety conscious. We had a great experience working with the entire BETCO team.”

    • Ed Horn, Construction Operations Manager at Virginia Properties

    In order to relieve the water exposure to the structure, that caused one delay after another, water pumps ran continuously to keep up with the heavy, unforgiving rainfall. This controlled the flooding and allowed for the install crew to work between the downpours.

    Developing the sales office structure separate from the rest of the facility was paired with shuttling customers to and from the site as needed for new customer tours. The Extra Space location has the exposure to the main road traffic, while keeping the advantage of the ample land and large facility that sits farther back.

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    The unexpected space, caused by the addition of the faux doors, was used to make two of the“faux” doors into actual functioning doors that are an unusual size of 2.5 x 7.5. Uniquely, these units are available for rent, so no square footage was lost.

    Virginia Properties is still working with the officials to meet the local storm water codes and determine the best way to resolve the beaver encroachment issue. Until then, the beavers will continue to build their own structures and the required measurements will be delayed. So far, two 50 pound beavers have been caught and relocated. Dam!

    Conclusion

    With BETCO’s over 36 years of quality, experience and creativity, they were able to meet each issue head on. The result was a beautiful facility that can meet the demands of the Stafford community.

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