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Updated: December 26, 2023

Georgia developer will build 750-unit self-storage facility in Auburn

overhead shot of land with color blocks and lines Courtesy / Diamond Point Development Work-from-home trends contributed to plans to develop a 99,600-square-foot self-storage facility at 179 Turner St. in Auburn.

A Georgia developer of self-storage facilities says Maine's seasonal residents are helping drive the need for a storage site in Auburn. 

Diamond Point Development LLC said Maine's seasonal residents and the recent work-from-home trend figured into plans to develop a 99,600-square-foot self-storage facility at 179 Turner St. in Auburn.

“Moving to a new home and reducing clutter are the two most common reasons to rent self-storage space,” Jason Sommer, a principal at Roswell, Ga.-based Diamond Point Development, told Mainebiz. “In Maine, the seasonal population migration contributes to the demand for self-storage. Seasonal [residents] want a safe, dry space to storage their goods.”

The Auburn project broke ground Dec. 11. Sanford-based TPD Construction is the general contractor. The expected opening date is March 2025. 

Diamond Point Development focuses on development of commercial properties in smaller markets. The firm is led by brothers Jason and Aaron Sommer.

2 people in blue blazers with folded hands
Courtesy / Diamond Point Development
Jason Sommer, left, and Aaron Sommer.   

Diamond is partnering on the project with the Ardent Cos., a privately held real estate firm in Atlanta. The partners have built previous Class A self-storage facilities along the East Coast.

Although the final budget has not been completed yet, construction costs are expected to be more than $5 million. The project is financed by equity contributed by Diamond and Ardent, which are also working with Maine and national lenders for debt financing. 

'Highly visible' location  

The facility is being built on three parcels along the Androscoggin River. The sale of one of the parcels was brokered by Craig Young and Sasha Phillips of the Boulos Co.

The facility, comprising two stories and a basement level on 5.33 acres, includes 75,000 square feet of rentable space and 750 individual storage units. Every unit will be temperature- and humidity-controlled.

The site was previously vacant land and a small, abandoned building, which was demolished.  

“This new development will enhance a location highly visible to all Auburn residents and visitors alike,” he said.

The selection of Auburn for the project was made after vetting the market.

“The Auburn and Lewiston communities are underserved for Class A, climate-controlled self-storage,” Sommer said. “The city of Auburn has a reputation of being business-friendly."

In particular, he cited Eric Cousens, Auburn's director of planning, permitting and code enforcement, as being "extremely helpful with the preconstruction process.”    

Following the population growth 

“Over the past few years, we noticed some of the Portland population relocating for Auburn in search of more affordable housing," Sommer said.

Diamond and Ardent previously built a self-storage facility at 193 Western Ave. in South Portland. TPD Construction built that project as well. Sommer credited the firm with doing “a stellar job.”

The Sommer brothers started in self-storage development with a 102,000-square-foot  facility completed in 2008, in Riverdale, Ga.

Since then, Diamond has grown its portfolio to more than 1 million square feet of self-storage space. It has active assets and development projects in Georgia, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine.

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