Doorage Storage is buying Boston’s On Demand Storage as part of its plan to expand its pickup-and-delivery services across the Northeast.

Meanwhile, the Chicago-based Doorage, founded five years ago, is launching new services in Las Vegas and Columbus, OH as it attempts to expand its reach nationwide.

Sean Sandona, founder and CEO of Doorage, said the takeover of On Demand Storage, one of the biggest valet storage providers in the Boston area, is his company’s first major acquisition outside the Chicago area. 

Among other things, the deal will allow Doorage to tap into the large student, residential and small-business customer base in eastern Massachusetts, he said. In addition, Doorage will take control of two On Demand Storage facilities in the Boston area, helping it service much of the New England and New York-area markets in the process.

A massive move

“It’s huge for us,” Sandona said of Doorage’s push into Boston. “This is a massive move by Doorage. It helps solidify our East Coast operations.”

Terms of the Doorage-On Demand deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, Doorage announced in a release.

Until now, Doorage, with 35 full-time employees and 18 trucks, was mostly focused on offering full services to those in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, WI, picking up items at customers’ homes or businesses, storing them and then moving them, if necessary, anywhere in the U.S. 

Now the Boston area will become a “full service market,” providing local customers with pick-up, storage and moving options.

Sandona indicated that the privately held Doorage is in merger talks with other storage players across the county. 

“We have entered into multiple acquisition agreements with traditional and valet companies and look forward to completing the transition of merging customers, teams, and systems, but Boston is our main focus right now,” he said. “We have two big targets on the radar after this round of acquisition and expansion.”

Let the competition begin

With its entrance into the Boston market, Doorage will be going head-to-head with a number of rivals also seeking to tap into the large college-student market in eastern Massachusetts, such as Storage Squad.

Last year, 1-800-PACK-RAT/Zippy Shell, known for its on-site storage container business, purchased Storage Squad, with an eye on expanding its student-driven valet business both in Boston and across the country.

“Boston is a very good market – and it’s growing fast,” said James Burati, senior vice president of sales and marketing for 1-800-PACK-RAT/Zippy Shell. “We definitely see expanding Storage Squad.”

Burati said his company plans to keep Storage Squad focused on college students, not on other customer segments within the storage market.

As for Doorage, it’s also launching operations this winter in Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio, offering customers in those markets full pickup, storage and moving services, Sandona said.

By the end of 2022, Doorage will be offering local services in six markets: Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Boston, Las Vegas and Columbus. Next year, Sandona said Doorage will focus on establishing full pickup, storage and moving services in the New York City area.

“The Boston market has always been a target for our team and was one of our final steps before moving into NYC services,” he said.

Eventually, Sandona, who declined to identify his company’s investment partners, said Doorage would like to be in about 30 to 40 markets across the country.

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Jay Fitzgerald