by Barrett Seaman –
It’s an unusual look for a storage facility: a pair of Big Ben-like clocks that chime at noon and a series of framed Norman Rockwell painting replicas that light up at night adorning the three-story exterior wall. But then again Tarrytown Self-Storage, which opens for business in early December, is an unusual exemplar of a growing industry in Westchester, the region and the country.
The new facility, located at the base of the north ramp of the H-Bridge over the Metro North tracks, is nowhere near as big as some self-storage places—like the giant Westy’s on Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford. But it boasts over 40 different space configurations, ranging from ones the size of a doghouse on up. Some units are being fitted as cedar closets with clothes-hanging racks for seasonal storage; others in the temperature-controlled building could be used as wine cellars.
Peter Ferraro Sr., founder of Westchester Self-Storage, which operates the new facility, calls it “white glove” service. For those who can’t schlep their own stuff, the firm will handle the move—including packing it up. There’s a lounge with free coffee for clients, and music circulates throughout the building.
Ferraro has been in the business for 28 years. His first facility was and is in Bedford Hills, but he has since expanded to Yorktown, Sullivan County and now in Tarrytown. Next spring, they will break ground on a second Tarrytown facility, on the site of the On-Track indoor sports facility, south of the railroad station.
Peter Ferraro Sr., who lives in Pleasantville, will not be involved in the daily management of Tarrytown Self-Storage. His three sons—all graduates of the Jack Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut—will run the company. Peter Jr., the Chief Financial Officer, was recently named Top CFO by the Westchester County Business Journal. Paul is Vice President of Construction and Development, and Philip is Vice President of Operations.
Ferraro Sr. will devote his time to managing the New York State Self-Storage Association (NYSSA), which provides an information network for a growing industry in the state, as well as a voice in Albany. From his new perch as the Association’s CEO, he sees self-storage as an entrenched part of the landscape going forward –“a part of Americana like Walmart and McDonalds,” he says.
To see the potential market for the two new Tarrytown facilities, one need look no further than the Hudson shoreline behind the Ferraros’ new place to the west: dozens upon dozens of new 1,200-to-1,500-sq.-ft. condominiums going up—many of them occupied by downsizing empty nesters in need of a place to put those extra beds and family photos. Small businesses, adds Ferraro, operating without expansive offices, need space to store inventory and records. “As long as people are in transit or downsizing, as long as there are small businesses,” predicts Ferraro, “we’ll just keep growing.”