The perks of living in New York are obvious to anyone reading these pages, and won’t be listed here. But there is one glaring drawback to city life: lack of space. We all have winter coats we don’t need in August, air conditioners we don’t use in February, and a lifetime of old tax returns, pay stubs and old issues of magazines we subscribed to in 1992 that we can’t bear to part with. Where to put all that stuff? It won’t all fit under the bed.
Almost since their inception, co-op and condo buildings and many HOAs have sought creative solutions to their residents’ storage challenges. Some convert basement space to storage units, others make available racks for bicycles. But the demand for more storage space is as limitless as the human capacity for nostalgia.
“Every building has, needs, or wants to re-do their storage area,” says Josh Goldman, president of Bargold Storage Systems in Long Island City. “Storage is the single most-used amenity, even more than laundry.”
A parking spot, says Goldman, is not a necessary amenity to the many New Yorkers unburdened by having to own a car. Laundry can be taken to the wash-and-fold and returned lovingly clean and folded. But extra space for extra stuff? “Everyone will take advantage of it,” he says. “If a building has storage, it’s something everyone can use. You want to get your name on that list. Even if you don’t need it, you’ll use it. New developments allocate space for everything, and will usually have a storage area or a storage room.”
Steel vs. Wire
One type of storage unit is made of wire—either woven or welded. These are essentially wire cages that occupy the basement rooms of many a New York building.