Storing Your Stuff In Bunkers
Deborah Almeida, Peter and Randy Cannon of Waikele
GPS (global positioning systems) and the Internet are examples of military technologies that are now a part of everyday lifestyles.
Now, military storage caves here on Oahu are being adopted for public use at Waikele Self Storage.
Several 4,000-square-foot ammunitions bunkers engineered in the 1940s have been converted into 10-by-10-foot lockers that can store your stuff.
Peter Cannon had seen a report on KHON about the caves at Waikele being used for commercial storage after having been closed down for about 20 years, so he investigated it the next day. Then he and his two partners decided to start Waikele Self Storage. With a staff of three in the office and four in the field, they held a soft opening in August 2005.
“I want people to get over the initial impression that it’s an overgrown area with military bunkers,” Cannon says. “My goal is to make Waikele Self Storage a modern facility with a park atmosphere.”
Just by word of mouth, many of the lockers have been rented out.
The names of United States Navy ships adorn the storage areas: USS Arizona, USS Missouri and USS Utah. The caves are 250 feet deep and 16 feet wide. For those who need smaller than the 10-by-10 lockers, other sizes are available.
Waikele Self Storage also offers storage areas they call minis, which are 25-by-25 and can hold a vehicle or the furniture of an eight-bedroom house. One of the caves has five locks, because in the past when it was used by the military, five officers - each with one key - would have to agree unanimously to open that cave.
“These caves were well-thought-out,” notes Cannon. “When we had those heavy days of rain in March, none of my things got wet - none.”
He explains that the caves are set up so that if water did enter the cave it would trickle down the wall, and then into a tiny ditch that runs alongside the length of the cave. Therefore, nothing would be ruined. Another protective feature of these caves, before they were converted, were two thick concrete walls which helped to protect the precious stored items.
A Hawaii Prep Academy graduate, Cannon served as a lieutenant in the Army. He also backpacked throughout Asia and learned about imports and hand-icrafts in places such as Japan, Korea and the Philippines. After he returned to Hawaii in 1972, the Maui-born entrepreneur started Hawaiian Resources Company, which publishes local maps, books, cards, postcards and calendars.
Cannon offers a discount to military who often need to leave their worldly belongings behind as they are deployed.
Waikele Self Storage is located at the end of Pakela Street. The hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday,
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Sunday. For more information, call 677-1700 or log onto www.waikeleselfstorage.com
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