Stashii rents out storage space, parking stalls, even closets

A new website developed by an Edmonton entrepreneur connects storage space with those that need it.

'All I really did with Stashii is bring it to a platform that is safer, and more convenient'

Ismail Attitalla designed the website Stashii that can turn unused storage space into profit. (CBC)

It may be hard to believe, but some people have garages not packed to the rafters with odds and ends that may one day be useful again.

A new website created by an Edmonton entrepreneur is designed to find those people and connect them with those less organized.

Stashii is an online marketplace similar to AirBnB, but instead of homes or apartments, people rent out garages, parking stalls, and even extra closet space.

Creator Ismail Attitalla came up with the idea while living in Montreal.

"As a millennial I grew up most of my life in apartment and condos," said Attitalla. "So size was always a luxury I didn't have, or storage space."

Attitalla also hopes the website is a fix for a city that has always struggled with finding enough parking.

"At Century Park LRT there's about a four-year waiting period for parking.

"So if a call to action was put out to the community around there that has available parking space in their driveway, or they're not home between nine to five ... they could rent that parking space out to someone that is in need, that would bring a lot of value by freeing up the backlog of parking."

Attitalla said he came up with the idea for the website after living most of his life in apartments and condos where there was little storage space. (CBC)

It's unclear whether the City of Edmonton shares Attitalla's enthusiasm.

"This type of service offered through the Stashii app does not fit within existing city bylaws," the city said in a statement.

"Bylaw 13138 states that all business activities require a licence. This includes anyone selling or renting storage space, or parking on their parcel of land, or where there is an exchange of a good or service. "

But Attitalla says he's been in contact with development officers at the city, to ensure he's following the rules.

"The development officers really took the time to understand what the business model is.

"Based on that, they're doing research to see how to really categorize it, and how to set proper regulations with it. And based on their feedback and results, I'm happy to ensure we are compliant with all bylaws and regulations."

Attitalla said he found most of the people using the newly-launched website already advertising their spaces on Kijiji.

"All I really did with Stashii is bring it to a platform that is safer, and more convenient."

Attitalla said he will continue to work with the city, so his website can grow.

"It's a unique situation because, not only is it the first of its kind in Edmonton, but it's the first of its kind in all Canada. So this can really set the benchmark for all cities going forward."