If you live in NYC, you’ve undoubtedly seen those distinguishable white and blue UOVO trucks driving around. If you’re not in the art world, you might have pulled out your phone and googled “UOVO.” If you’re like us, you’ve probably sat and wondered what was in it. Perhaps a Picasso or Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss?
Well, everyone’s favorite collections storage company UOVO has just announced the opening of its 4th location, UOVO: BROOKLYN. The 150,000-square-foot facility is located in the burgeoning arts community of Bushwick, and will offer collections storage designed to exceed the standards of the world’s leading museums. The new building is scheduled to open in fall 2019 and will be the largest art storage facility in Brooklyn.
We managed to snag a few minutes with Steve Novenstein, CEO of UOVO, to discuss the new facility and what lays ahead.
Art Zealous: Why did UOVO choose to open in Bushwick?
Steve Novenstein: UOVO is so much more than storage – we are a one-stop shop for all the services a collector, gallery, museum or institution needs. Our unique approach allows us to grow with our existing clients, and we needed another NYC facility to meet that demand.
AZ: What are some of the most important factors when choosing a new facility and area?
SN: Convenience is key, so we wanted somewhere near a lot of subways, in addition to ample client parking. The building itself is very important, too. We wanted a well-built, reinforced-concrete structure for both security and environmental control. Luckily, we were able to find all these qualities in UOVO: BROOKLYN.
AZ: In recent years, Bushwick has become an arts destination, was this taken into consideration when choosing a location for your new facility?
SN: Absolutely. Engaging with New York’s cultural community is a priority for us, so I think we are going to fit in very well in Bushwick.
AZ: What are some of the most exciting features of the new facility?
SN: We are very excited about the 20-foot ceilings on all three floors, which will allow clients to store monumental artworks. UOVO: BROOKLYN can also accommodate tractor-trailers, meaning very large works of art and collections can be moved in and out with ease. We’ve even purchased our own tractor-trailer, so UOVO truly is a one-stop shop.
AZ: Does UOVO plan on expanding to other areas?
SN: We are focused on New York. This is our fourth facility in the NYC-metro area in less than four years, so we really feel like we have the knowledge and team to provide the best standard of service in the industry.
AZ: What’s the most challenging aspect of creating such a large storage facility that people might not know?
SN: It surprises people when I tell them UOVO facilities can be very active, social places. More than 6,000 people have visited UOVO: NYC since it opened in December 2014. In fact, we had to convert what was intended to be a viewing room into a café because so many people were staying and working all day. We also think a lot about the needs of our staff, adding things like showers, bike racks and communal kitchens. It’s not a difficulty per se, but we definitely design our spaces to support and nurture active engagement.
AZ: What should one look for when choosing an art storage facility?
SN: Choosing the proper storage facility is very important. Start with the basics: does the company own their buildings and are they in good financial standing? Secondly, you should understand the facility’s emergency plans, if they have been vetted by top insurers, if their inventory management system is digitized, if their climate control is electronically monitored, if they provide other key services like transportation and installation, and perhaps most importantly, if their staff is trained to museum standards to handle art. Our blog “The Art of UOVO” has numerous posts that can help illuminate the process, including “10 questions to ask when you are looking for art storage” and “Everything you need to know about Art Storage: Common Misconceptions.” I highly recommend it as a resource for both emerging and seasoned collectors.
top image // courtesy of UOVO