Next Door Storage president Phil Murphy purchased a property at 1910 E Algonquin Road in Algonquin, IL in 2012 with the intention of rebuilding and revitalizing the site.

It took Murphy four years to get through the zoning process but about $3 million later, a new all-brick, 30,000-square-foot storage building stands on the property, right next to the existing 60,000-square-foot storage facility that was recently renovated as well. Combined the facility offers about 1,000 units.

Now, the self-storage developer was recently honored with a rehabilitation award for improving the site. But it wasn’t easy.

Murphy recalls being told that if he could find a deep mine and wanted to build at the bottom of it, then the city would consider letting him build storage. So how did he win them over?

“I gave them exactly what they wanted,” Murphy said. “Plus, at the end of the day we were an existing property and they were stuck with us. I guess they figured it was better to have an improvement than deal with a 1987 property.”

Phil Murphy with the Mayor of Algonquin
Phil Murphy with the Mayor of Algonquin

Step-by-step

The project involved Murphy first demolishing an office building that sat in front of the existing facility. In its place he constructed a 30,000-square-foot climate control building. The entire parking lot was paved with permeable pavers rather than asphalt.

“We covered about seven acres total with pavers, and it was a considerable investment,” he said. “This way, water goes straight through the ground and that helps with water retention.”

In a letter, the Village of Algonquin praised Muprhy for:

“…investing significantly in demolishing an old building and constructing a new climate controlled building, using permeable pavers as a sustainable construction method and setting a great example for other property owners to follow to encourage more investment in the East Algonquin Road corridor.”

The new building at Next Door Storage.
The new building at Next Door Storage.

More to come

As part of his next stage of development, Murphy is planning two additional 30,000-square-feet buildings on the site, due for completion by 2018. Once that is done, there will be a total of about 150,000-square feet on the property.

Murphy currently has three other self-storage buildings under development. One 90,000-square facility is under construction in North Aurora, IL, and slated for completion this July. A second facility that is 127,000 square feet (with 95,000 square feet of that being rentable) is expected to be completed in Oswego by the year’s end. Both will have about 1,100 units. A third facility is in the entitlement process in Plainfield.

In total, Naperville-based Next Door Storage has 14 locations in Illinois.

Murphy graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in entrepreneurship and management Information Systems and fell into the self-storage industry when mortgaged his condo to buy his first property. After he expanded the property and turned around its operations, Murphy began adding a new property to his portfolio annually.

Murphy is also the president of the Illinois Self Storage Association and founder of lead management software company CallPotential.

Mary Ann Azevedo