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History Behind 412 Studios

Jess Casto
hallway of 412 Studios
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History Behind 412 Studios

STORExpress offers more than your typical storage facility - we believe that the need for extra space isn’t limited to finding a place to store some items during a move. People need storage for a wide variety of reasons, and we’re determined to accommodate as many of these needs as we can. We know it’s hard to find the ideal space for artistic pursuits like music and visual art, so we’ve developed the art spaces and band rehearsal rooms. These are a great solution for artists and musicians that need both a practice space and a secure place to store supplies or instruments.

412 Studios was founded from a response to a need in our area for creative spaces. Although most of the country would think of Pittsburgh as a steel mill community, in the last 20 years Pittsburgh has made a steady change to a technology and art-driven community. STORExpress entered into the market in 1997 as a self-storage provider, and in 2003 decided to respond to the growing need within our community for rehearsal space for local bands.

At 412 Studios we truly believe that the world is healed through the art that is created, so in 2003 we decided to redesign a floor in our very first self-storage building, which was formally the Duquesne Brewery building in the south side of Pittsburgh to 12 rehearsal spaces. It didn't take long for us to realize that a dozen rooms wouldn't do the job. So in 2005 we expanded the 12 original rooms with another 35 and in 2011 we built another 35 rooms, but the waitlist wouldn't stop growing. The owner, Steve Mitnick, decided to purchase an office building in Etna and convert it into Band spaces. However, during renovations, Steve realized there was also a large growing community within Etna that was demanding a place to create art. With a few tweaks to the original design, such as skylights for natural lighting, 448 Studios opened. The rooms filled so quickly and the demand was so large that in 2015 STORExpress bought an old elementary school called Overbrook and designed the space for its growing studio space community. In 2016 STORExpress purchased an old enamel factory in McKees Rocks neighborhood of Pittsburgh and heard once again the call for band rehearsal space, so 14 were built, and they rented within the first few months. Fast forward to the current day when STORExpress is in the midst of renovating two buildings for self-storage buildings, and the call for creative spaces has sounded again. In Turtle Creek, we are opening another six art spaces, and in Mt. Lebanon we are opening another 12, with another 10 in our original South Side location coming soon. In total, we have over 200 studio spaces available to rent through the city of Pittsburgh.

With all the growth of studio spaces throughout the city, it only made sense to unify these spaces under one brand. So in 2018, 412 Studios was officially born.

In a world where art and music programs are being cut due to school funding, we believe it's important now, more than ever, to rise up and be of service to our neighbors and world. 

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