A side venture to fill half of an empty industrial building in Stead may prove to be a profitable new line of business for Silver Lake Storage owner Peter Styczen.
Styczen has operated a growing third-party logistics company for the past 15 years. Tempo Fulfillment Inc. was founded in Aurora, Ill., and expanded to Pinellas Park, Fla., about eight years ago. In 2018, Styczen expanded again into Northern Nevada with a 30,000-square-foot warehouse on Echo Avenue in Stead.
Styczen’s five-year lease on the Echo Avenue building was expiring, though, and with business growth driving the need for a larger fulfillment facility, Styczen decided to construct his own building rather than rent. Two years ago he purchased a parcel of land near the eastern shore of Silver Lake on Moya Boulevard and kicked off plans to build a 110,000 square foot Class A industrial building.
Tempo Fulfillment only needed 55,000 square feet of the building, however, and Styczen struggled to find a tenant to sublease the remaining space. He decided to turn the other half of the building into climate-controlled boat and RV storage, and Silver Lake Storage opened in October.
The space is already 60 percent full, Styczen told NNBW in an interview last week.
“I was trying to advertise and promote the other half of the building and lease it out to another tenant, but I wasn’t getting a lot of interest,” he said. “That’s where the idea came from to start a boat, car and RV storage.”
Styczen will move Tempo Fulfillment out of its existing facility and into its new home later this year. The added space on Moya Boulevard positions Tempo Fulfillment for additional growth.
“We outgrew our old space with existing clients, and we added some more, so we were at 99 percent capacity; we had no room at all,” Styczen said. “The 3PL has been an established business for 15 years, but I am surprised with this new business. Within a couple of weeks we filled it to 60 percent capacity.
“There is so much need for storage here in Reno,” he added. “Who knows, maybe the boat storage business will outgrow my 3PL business.”
Montane Building Group was the general contractor on the facility, while F&P Construction did the groundwork. Due to the parcel’s proximity to Silver Lake, the building’s concrete pad needed extensive earth moving to meet strict flood mitigation requirements at the site — work that totaled nearly a half-million dollars, Styczen said.
Last year’s record winter also hampered the construction timeline. Montane Building Group was ready to start construction on the facility just as one of the wickedest winters ever recorded in Northern Nevada hit the region like a sledgehammer.
“We were planning on building throughout the winter, but we just missed our window,” Styczen said. “We were just about to pour the slab, but two days before it snowed, and the ground was so wet that we couldn’t get proper compaction for the slab. That put us four or five months behind.”
Styczen said it also took about 15 months to receive the electrical switch gear needed to power the building, and once the switch gear arrived, there was a delay installing the main electrical transformer.
“There were a lot of challenges throughout,” Styczen said.
Styczen still has a few acres left of buildable land and may expand the boat storage business if it continues to take off.
“I might be building another 30,000- or 40,000-square-foot facility if I can fit it in there,” he said.
Heritage Bank provided a construction loan for the venture. While there are numerous storage facilities in that part of north Reno, many are simple uncovered dirt parking lots. Indoor climate-controlled storage proved to be an instant hit.
“We are targeting more of a higher-end customer,” Styczen said. “If you have an older trailer or boat, you probably aren’t willing to pay the extra money for indoor heated storage.
“With our facility, you don’t have to winterize your boat or RV,” he added. “We provide a red-carpet service to high-end clients.”
Silver Lake Storage customers can access their boat or RV by providing 24-hour notice, and their vehicle will be waiting in a secured parking lot when they arrive. Styczen said he also can accommodate after-hours pickup requests.
Eventually, he added, customers who want after-hours access will be able to use a key stored in a lock box to enter the facility and pick up their recreational vehicles. Docking bays doors are 12 feet wide by 14 feet tall, so they can accommodate some fairly large boats on trailers, he added.
“We are very excited about this boat storage business,” Styczen said. “We are building this business and the 3PL business, and it’s been a great experience. We are excited about the future and growth.”