Each unit at Self-Storage has electricity, lights, fire alarms, sprinklers and air conditioning at three cooling levels to accommodate everything from furniture to food staples such as coffee. This spring, Mohammed began renting out the first garage as he converted the second into storage units.
Each floor has 54 units ranging from 6 to 40 square meters.
Construction went quickly after Mohammed obtained permits to operate his business. He spent much time with permit officials reviewing his business plan -- a concept new to the Kingdom.
But Mohammed is persistent. He had studied self-storage businesses in the UK, UAE and Bahrain, and knew there was also a market in the Kingdom. He worked for years with authorities to win acceptance of self-storage, and with partners, first opened Makzny in Dammam.
Then, he struck out on his own to bring the concept to the Al Khobar parking garages he'd been eyeing for years.
Finding the buildings’ owners was a challenge.
Research led Mohammed to Jeddah and representatives of a wealthy family. The patriarch had passed away and a trustee questioned whether the heirs actually owned the garages.
But they did, and Mohammed, after some persuading, obtained a lease to convert the two garages into what is now Saudi’s largest self-storage business.
Land use planners at the Sharqia Development Authority praised Mohammed for his innovative solution for the garages. His self-storage concept is a business with low impact on the congested traffic circle. Customers use the garages' circular driveways to load and unload, not linger.
The riddle was 30 years in the making, they told Mohammed, but he had solved it.