Creating A Safe Haven For Stuff
Daniel Ho and Michael Wood of Hawaii
Michael Wood is like the fairy godmother who waves a wand and turns Cinderella into a princess. As a developer of properties, Wood can bring out the beauty in a project, but his work doesn’t turn back to its original state at the stroke of midnight.
One of his Cinderella projects, under the MW Group, is the Hawaii Self Storage facility in Kaimuki. The four-story building has 1,600 storage areas.
“With women now the majority of the locker renters, we’ve really worked on landscaping and making the building attractive,” explains Wood. “I was going to put a mural on the building, but then someone told me about the work of local artist Leah Rigg. So we used her, and she created a handmade mosaic tile scene showing old Manoa on our building.”
Additional accessories added to the building include covered parking, a clock tower and loading docks that can be raised and lowered to make delivery easier.
Ten employees assist the wide variety of clients, which include pharmaceutical companies, museums, hobbyists, military, small businesses and residents.
“We offer our customers use of the business center, which includes a conference room, computers, copy machines and fax machine,” says Daniel Ho, general manager of Hawaii Self Storage and MW Group.
One of the challenges of working in the business is getting the word out to the public.
“They don’t realize that storage here can be a home away from home or like a second office,” says Ho.
The facility is staffed 24 hours a day, and constantly air conditioned to help preserve stored items including some museum pieces.
To help get the word out, their advertising campaign includes Olena Rubin, Miss Hawaii 2004, as a spokeswoman, and the character Mister Safety, who dons a straw hat and slippers.
In hopes of appealing to the ocean sports lovers, a storage rack was completed that can hold 48 one-man canoes and 12 kayaks.
Wood touts that Hawaii Self Storage was the first on the West Coast to provide conference rooms for their customers. Hawaii Self Storage started six years ago when Wood and his business partner Steve Metter were going to build a warehouse, office space and showroom in Mapunapuna. Wood was inspired by a self-storage place he saw while on vacation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wood moved to Hawaii from San Francisco 44 years ago, and makes his home with wife Joanne in downtown Honolulu, where they raised their sons Greg, John and Matt.
Ho, an Iolani graduate, started out with MW Group as a controller. A graduate of Cal Poly-Pomona, Ho had previously worked with Ernst and Young, and Arthur Anderson. The Nuuanu resident lives with his wife, Lauren, 4-year-old son Bryson, and their new baby girl due in May.
There are also Hawaii Self Storage locations in Salt Lake, Pearl City and one on Maui. Future plans include building storage facilities in Mililani and Kapolei this year, and maybe one on the Windward side of the island.
Hawaii Self Storage in Kaimuki is located at 2909 Waialae Ave. For more information, call 737-6404 or log onto www.hawaiiselfstorage.net.
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