The art market is hot and only getting hotter. More collectors are spending more money and many are beginning to wonder if art is a more solid investment than the stock market? Luxury residential buildings are furnishing model units with only art to attract attention and collectors are looking for homes that will showcase their art best, in terms of light, display space, etc. But what happens when you have too much art to display and need storage?
Freeports are offshore storage facilities that exist outside of the territorial jurisdiction of any country and offer tax advantages. Freeports exist all over the world but only one is in New York (below). So what are other, closer and more accessible options?
With Frieze Art Fair and TEFAF in New York this week - and tons of other fairs throughout the year - we have highlighted some of the best local storage facilities and their services for New York City art collectors' new acquisitions. From climate controlled moving trucks to retinal scan security services, these storage facilities are far from your mother’s attic.
Kevin Lay, former executive of Crozier Fine Art, and Tom Sapienza, former CFO of Crozier Fine Arts, were recruited by art collector and real estate mogul Ken Cayre to open ARCIS. ARCIS is actually a freeport but Tom Sapienza is quoted as saying, “While the FTZ designation is receiving a lot of deserved attention, the foundation of Arcis is providing real, museum-level sustainable storage to the private sector.”
After consulting with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam for advice on creating a state-of-the-art secure facility with cutting-edge air-filtration systems, retinal scanning, biometric key control and 60 video feeds. The team also pursued LEED and BREEAM certificates for the building. Located on West 146th Street in Harlem, the 110,000-square-foot, five-story facility has been designated for as much as $2.5 billion of art.
Located in Long Island City and founded in 1990, Artex offers fine art transportation, storage, crating, packing, and collection management to museum, gallery, private and commercial clients. Not only are their facilities climate controlled but their trucks are too. Over the last 25 years Artex expanded to five major art markets with a staff of over 200 employees, state-of-the-art and high security storage warehouses, a conservation lab, and five crate production facilities. The company also provides a comprehensive range of technical support services that include inventory management, exhibition coordination, relocation services, installation, rigging, conservation and project management.
Christie's Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS) is a storage provider for fine art, antiques and collectibles, with facilities in New York (just minutes from downtown), as well as their Singapore Freeport. Their state-of-the-art, newly opened New York facility offers three different types of storage options: Self-Managed Units, CFASS-Managed Units, and the CFASS-Managed Vault (where property is kept with multiple clients), They also offer a range of related white-glove services. “By leveraging 25 years of storage experience as well as Christie's renowned expertise with art and art handling, CFASS New York serves as the smart storage partner for collectors, galleries, institutions and advisors.”
Crozier’s website sums up their services as saying the have a “comprehensive approach driven by industry knowledge.” Crozier helps both art industry professionals and collectors all over the world. “We apply the same methodical precision and expertise to our comprehensive range of art logistics services. Thoughtful, deliberate planning of every detail goes into each action we undertake.”
In addition to storage, installation and placement, handling and custom packing, registration and inventory, state-of-the-art condition reporting, rigging and engineering, international transport, crating and viewing galleries, Crozier also offers two distinct delivery services: chelsea Express, which is special flat-rate, same day pick-up and drop-off service within the Chelsea neighborhood from 3-6pm Tuesday – Friday and their California shuttle which offers door-to-door, climate-controlled shuttle service between the Los Angeles region and the San Francisco Bay Area.) They also offer project management, care consultation, collection management, emergency planning and response.
Unsatisfied with the storage options available in the city, real estate magnate Steven Guttman spent $70 million to build a state-of-the-art storage facility in Long Island City. The 280,000 square foot facility has climate-controlled storage, private viewing rooms, and a range of services, from transportation, packing, crating, and installation. UOVO provides an array of storage options and innovative service and management solutions tailored to meet the specialized needs of any collection.
Guttman told ArtSpace, “There’s a lot of people in this business, but the way most of those companies started was that they were movers who would move art, and then people would say, ‘I can’t use this painting right now, can you just put it someplace for me?’ So, over time, they ended up with all this storage space it became their business. But it all started with moving and logistics, and no one has ever stepped back and said, How can we approach this a different way to be the best facility we can be. No one has ever approached this starting with the real estate.”