Once an iconic mainstay, Happy’s Flea Market had become an eyesore after being condemned and falling into disrepair. In partnership with architect Lora Katz, Cherney Development began construction in 2019 to transform the 11-acre derelict building and surrounding property into Fort Knox Drive-Thru Self Storage, a new state-of-the-art “drive-through” self-storage facility.
“I saw it as an opportunity to transform a large piece of property into a truly unique self-storage solution and, in doing so, make a big difference to the community around it,” says Jim Cheney. “I am thrilled with the transformation. The feedback from the community and our customers has been outstanding.”
The building is anchored by Fort Knox Drive-Thru Self Storage – the Roanoke Valley’s only drive-thru storage facility where cars, trucks, or moving vans can drive inside to unload goods out of the cold, heat, rain and snow. It is also home to the Fort Knox Business Suites – 11 fully outfitted offices with storefronts along the side of the property. The spaces are geared toward entrepreneurs and small business owners and part of Cherney’s desire to contribute to the vibrant small business community on and around Williamson Road.
During construction, Cherney also partnered with the Greater Williamson Road Area Business Association to host community drive-in movie nights that raised funds for the Association and other area organizations. Cherney Development also hosts Happy Days Flea Markets on the property each weekend that honor the heritage of the original Happy’s Flea Market.