No Vacancy: Developers Finding Novel Ways to Satisfy Self-Storage Demand

No Vacancy: Developers Finding Novel Ways to Satisfy Self-Storage Demand

Self-storage facilities are on the rise, particularly in the western United States. Service providers are finding creative ways to pinpoint optimal locations for climate-controlled units and an increasing number are turning vacant commercial properties – the blight of the e-commerce boom – into conveniently-located self-storage spaces.

With People, Come Things

The demand for self-storage continues to rise yearly, as more Americans relocate to follow job opportunities. Millennials in particular have been increasingly relocating at high rates and to cities such as Denver, Nashville, and Portland, driving up demand and filling storage capacity. Other cities, largely across the Western region, are seeing a similar phenomenon.

As these individuals and families move across the country, many find self-storage to be a suitable and affordable option for storing their goods. Many relocate to smaller properties with less storage space or simply have possessions that are rarely needed – such as recreational vehicles, collectibles, or tools. With rising demand for self-storage, developers are acting quickly to increase the supply of vacant space.

Breathing Life into Vacant Properties

Rather than constructing all-new facilities, many developers are finding it more reasonable to retrofit former retail space into climate-controlled self-storage. For instance, 1784 Capital Holdings has plans to purchase and convert a former Macaroni Grill into a new self-storage facility this year, called Gold Dust Storage, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Firms following this business plan find the proximity of the properties to high-traffic areas in local communities to be advantageous, and the substantial cost savings a preexisting climate-controlled structure offers greatly increases profitability.

Many developers still find it profitable in particular regional markets to construct completely new facilities, utilizing drainage technology and other features to hasten construction and reduce costs over time. However, even in these markets, vacant properties are easy to find and affordable to convert. Going forward, expect to see an increasing number of self-storage facilities filling vacant properties not only in the western United States, but throughout the country.

Want to Learn More?

Don’t worry, we have you covered! For additional information and analysis of US industry trends, see Self-Storage & Moving Services: United States, a report published by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group. This report forecasts to 2022 US self-storage and moving services demand in nominal US dollars. Total revenues are segmented by product in terms of:

  • climate-controlled self-storage
  • not climate-controlled self-storage
  • full-service moving
  • DIY moving truck rental

Total revenues are segmented by market as follows:

  • South
  • West
  • Midwest
  • Northeast

To illustrate historical trends, total demand and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2007 to 2017.

Self-storage and moving services are defined here to include fixed and mobile self-storage as well as full-service moving and DIY truck rentals. Self-storage services also include those establishments offering boat, recreational vehicle, and automobile storage. In this report, “employees” are defined to include all those who work in the industry, whether owner/workers or employee/workers. Furthermore, both employer and nonemployer establishments are included in this report. The term “demand” – used interchangeably with “sales” – is defined as self-storage and moving service revenue.

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About the Author

Chris Dyer is a Market Research Analyst for Freedonia Focus Reports. He holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies, and his experience as an analyst covers multiple industries.