High Tech Storage Topekan Crystal Reuter saw a need for a service in the capital city and made it a reality.
Eric Smith-Contributing Writer
March 1st, 2022
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Photos by: JOHN BURNS
Like many great business opportunities, Topekan Crystal Reuter saw a need for a service in the capital city and made it a reality. TopCity Storage opened the first week in June at 4600 S.W. Topeka Blvd., just south of the Kansas Turnpike. This isn’t your typical selfstorage arrangement—the whole high-tech operation is contactfree, and Reuter says it’s the first to use NOKĒ smart entry technology to fully automate storage in Topeka.“Everything can be done from your smartphone. No padlock or physical key to lose. Your phone is your key,” said Reuter, the owner and only employee of the business. “Contactless rentals are the way the industry is moving.” The brand new 84-unit, 14,000 square-foot, well-lit facility gives clients 24-hour access to their units and has an emphasis on clean and safe storage. “I just kept seeing people posting that their storage got broken into,” Reuter said. “I thought if we’re going to do this, I wanted to build something that was secure. And unique. Not just a boring, standard storage building.” To rent, customers visit the TopCity Storage website, choose a unit, e-sign an agreement and provide payment information. Then a digital key is sent via email with download and accessibility instructions.
No locks are needed; the mobile app logs who is coming and going, and smart technology knows if it’s locked or not. All units have motion sensors inside, and the digital key can be shared with movers, family members or friends as needed. “I have an 80-year-old customer that loves the facility’s ease of use. It’s pretty simple,” Reuter said. Reuter said it’s extra difficult to break into the units as the electronic locking mechanism is on the inside of the unit as opposed to the outside. Additionally, any time motion is detected, or someone is trying to break in, a message is sent to the unit renter to notify them. The renter can view and monitor all activity from the palm of their hands. The whole facility is monitored by CCTV cameras. “The automation gives me flexibility; I can be out marketing the facility, but if someone needs help, I can be there at any time to help,” Reuter said. Even in a power outage, the units are accessible, thanks to the Tesla batteries that power the units. Reuter said the demand for storage units has been strong through October, and sales have leveled off a bit with the holidays.
The facility offers both temperature controlled and drive-up access and can be rented on a long-term and short term basis. The units range in five different sizes from 10-by-30 to 5-by5. TopCity Storage has pricing to fit most budgets, starting at $65 a month. Drive-up access units with parking for recreational vehicles and cars are also available. “Business has gone better than expected,” Reuter said. “We opened at the right time, as there was an immediate need for storage when we opened in the summer. Topeka has been really receptive to us opening.”