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Valet self-storage sights up Auckland’s rising apartment living

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Valet self-storage sights up Auckland’s rising apartment living Auckland, 9 September 2015 - Auckland brothers Rowan and Ryan Cockayne are poised to capitalise on Auckland’s rising number of apartments, launching a valet storage service aimed at householders with limited space.

Claimed as New Zealand’s first on-demand valet storage service, Roary is a fresh take on traditional self-storage, making storing and retrieving household items as simple as ordering pizza home delivery.

And brothers Cockayne are betting big on the success of their venture, investing $4 million dollars in a purpose-built 1,000 m2 storage facility in Albany, Auckland, and a website that allows people to manage the pickup, storage and return of their personal possessions - without having to leave home.

With the number of Auckland apartments set to rise from 26,500 to 32,000 by 2018, and the average asking price for an Auckland apartment crossing the half-million dollar mark (Trade Me Property figures), more people will live in smaller homes, with less storage space.

Roary co-founder Ryan Cockayne said storage by-the-bin and per-item self-storage (for things like bicycles and surfboards that don’t easily fit into bins) would appeal to urban residents, and especially apartment dwellers, who are short of adequate secure storage at home.

"Unless you’ve got huge closets or you just don’t buy much stuff, the only way to minimise clutter is with off-site storage. However, research tells us that many people dislike driving back and forth to a storage facility and paying for space they don’t use. So we remove the hassle of transport and safekeeping and apply a per-item and by-the-bin storage fee."

Though new to New Zealand, valet storage providers operate in several overseas markets, including the US, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, and Australia. The category has also attracted heavyweight financial backers, including the likes of Google Ventures.

Similar to its international counterparts, Roary provides a website that allows customers to schedule item pickup, maintain a catalogue of stored bins and items, and schedule return delivery. Customers can store items with Roary for as little as $5 a month, with valet drop-off and pickup prices starting from $8.

Security is a strong feature of Roary’s service. The company’s purpose-built warehouse is a ‘locked down’ facility, with CCTV, intruder detection and electronic security systems and ‘mantraps’ providing additional layers of security.

Multiple checkpoints between bin pickup, storage and return ensure storage items are never misplaced or confused with other customer accounts.

Constructed to Importance Level 3 (130% new building code standards) Roary’s warehouse is more thermally resistant than a new residential dwelling. Design has also factored in climate control that manages airflow (air is exchanged approximately 10 times every hour) and minimises mould spores. Fire protection systems automatically alert the NZ Fire Service and activate a sprinkler system. Warehouse shelving prevents overload and currently manages 20,000 units, with additional warehouse capacity for 60,000 units.

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