New Ground-Up Self-Storage Building: 155-165 West 29th Street

New York, NY
Self-Storage Innovation

Mancini is working with property‑owner Highland Development and developer The Davis Companies to design a new ground‑up self‑storage building. At 17 stories tall, it will not only be the first self-storage high-rise in the country, it’s also been designed to attract a new kind of customer, and to be contextually appropriate for a high-profile section of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

This project represents several innovations for the self‑storage industry. At 17 stories and 223 feet tall (along with three sub‑cellar levels below‑grade), this will be the first self‑storage high‑rise in the nation. Our zoning and massing studies sought to maximize the building’s, height, size, and unit mixes—a challenge given its location in Chelsea—and successfully obtain approvals from the City. The height and volume of the building also posed interesting challenges for our fully fleshed‑out design, given the structural load requirements for a self-storage space.

New Ground-Up Self-Storage Building Concept

Furthermore, most self‑storage buildings in Manhattan are in comparatively out‑of‑the‑way locations, like its industrial districts or around the perimeter of the island. In contrast, 155‑165 will be in the heart of the city, just a five‑minute walk away from Penn Station and Macy’s. With a high‑traffic, high‑profile site like this, the client is seeking to attract a slightly different kind of customer. They’re looking at students at FIT; commuters who regularly pass through Penn Station and may stay in the city a couple times a week; tourists who are in for the day; and of course, local residents who just need some extra space. So the client wanted a design from us that wasn’t just a box—something stylized, a modern version of Art Deco. As such, we gave the building a “stepped” profile like so many of the great New York skyscrapers of the 1920s and 1930s. And as customer service is a priority, we’re examining new ways to make the experience easy and accessible through new technology that will provide access to the storage units.