It’s All About Location, Location, Location in the Self Storage Industry

There are around 50,000 self storage facilities in the United States. According to estimates there is 21 square feet of self storage space for every American household and 7.3 square feet for every man, woman, and child. So from the sound of it there can’t possibly be any problems finding a self storage facility near you right?

Actually, depending on where you are looking there might be (which also means if you are looking to develop self storage properties this might be where you should start).

For example, Ken Waddell is a small develop with a couple self storage properties in his portfolio—one in Alberta, Canada where he lives and another in Greeley, Colorado. When he decided he wanted to develop another one he didn’t need to go far to find a location where it could flourish.

There is actually a shortage of self storage space in the Greeley area. Facilities are full and many even have a waiting list of people wanting to rent space. Waddell’s other facility, American Self Storage, is at capacity with 20 people waiting.

“It’s kind of a foreign thought that you won’t be able to find storage,” said Nancy Wuethrich, manager at Store It Wise. “I have people say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know it was going to be such an issue.’”

In order to take advantage of the demand Waddell has decided to convert an old lumber yard in to a self storage facility.

“There is pent-up demand right now,” Waddell said. “Once we open, we’ll take the initial demand right way.”

He bought the former location of 84 Lumber last July and is in the process of developing it. Work on the second phase is expected to start sometime next year, and when all is said and done should cost around $3 million.

Converting existing space and structures in to self storage facilities is nothing new to the industry. For years lenders have preferred to do so over building new for one simple reason—it cost less. As a result all sorts of structures have been converted in to self storage space from warehouses to car dealerships to Coca Cola plants, and more.

Metro Self Storage is developing a former Sears Repair Center in Bannockburn, Illinois, in to a new facility that it expects to open in the fall of this year.

“We’re excited to expand our presence in Chicago’s North Shore suburbs,” said Matthew Nagel, Chairman of Metro Storage LLC. “This is an outstanding location in an exceptional community….”


Sources Used:

“Developer converting lumberyard into storage facility.” Spare Foot Storage Blog; 30 May 2014.

“Metro Storage LLC to Convert Former Sears to Self Storage Facility in Bannockburn, IL.” PRWeb; 06 April 2014.

“Storage space at a premium going into summer season.” The Tribune; 16 March 2014.

2013 SSA Fact Sheet; Self Storage Association.

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