As the self-storage industry permeates our communities, it receives increasing attention from mainstream media outlets—and not always favorably. As industry professionals, we should be aware of how self-storage is presented to the public. Media Watchdog is devoted to policing and summarizing general news coverage.
New Jersey Storage Businesses Battle Unfair Sales Tax
The Record, 3.21.07
New Jersey self-storage businesses are asking why they have to pay sales tax when residents who rent homes are exempt. Members of the industry sued the state in November, arguing it was unconstitutional to force their customers to pay 7 percent state sales tax on what is essentially a real estate transaction. The fee went into effect Oct. 1. Self-storage and a dozen other service providers such as limousine operators and tanning salons that previously went untaxed are now taxed to help close a budget deficit.
Residents Oppose Storage With Prison Look
McKinney Courier Gazette, 3.21.07
More than 60 residents of Paloma Creek, Texas, voiced opposition to the planned construction of AllStorage at Paloma Creek. Some said the design of the 57-foot-tall brick structure resembles a prison. During a public hearing, council members listened to homeowners plea not to rezone 4 acres from agricultural to a planned development for light commercial. Council members told residents the project fell within the town’s development plans for that area.
Hawaiian Storage Growth Twice Mainland Average
Growth of storage facilities on the space-deprived islands of Hawaii has outpaced the national average. As of last year, Hawaii only had 73 facilities, but eight new sites recently opened, and a dozen more are already in the works. Hawaii also has the highest rental fee for storage space at about $3 per square foot per month due to the high price of land.
Facility Destroyed Twice
Authorities say arson was the cause of a business fire at Community Self Storage in Punta Gorda, Fla. The facility was almost destroyed shortly after it had been built when Hurricane Charley hit. Now, fire damage is so extensive, the building will most likely be torn down. Firefighters say it was a difficult fire to put out because there are more than 60 units in the building.
Grand Opening for US 41
North Fort Myers Neighbor, 2.21.07
US 41 Self Storage, in North Fort Myers, Fla., celebrated its grand opening in February. The ribbon cutting was attended by members of the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce who were picked up in a Hummer H2 stretch limo. In addition to 1,000 storage units, the facility offers wireless Internet access, a community room, a coffee bar, U-Haul rentals and wine storage.
Crooks Busted by Storage Security Camera
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2.20.07
Two men were arrested shortly after breaking into Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage in Delray Beach, Fla., after allegedly being caught on camera. Police began investigating break-ins of storage facilities after a rash of burglaries throughout Palm Beach County in October and one in Boca Raton. Investigators think the burglars were selling the goods at flea markets from Miami-Dade to Marion counties.
Simi Valley Maintains Moratorium on Storage Development
The Acorn, 3.16.07
The Simi Valley, Calif., planning commission denied a conditional-use permit to construct a 70,000-square foot storage facility, although the developer recently earned an exemption from the city’s new moratorium on self-storage applications. Five commissioners agreed that the developer’s proposal, although aesthetically and architecturally sound, wasn’t the right fit for the 2-acre site.
Storage Condo Firm Now in Six States
The Idaho Statesman, 3.8.07
Three years after the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based GarageTown USA opened its first condominium-storage project, the firm has expanded to five other states. Customers for the condo storage units often need to store classic cars, high-end boats and RVs. Unit prices range $50,000 to $200,000. The facilities, which feature heat, electricity and a clubhouse for members, are often built in gated developments.
Hawaiian Storage Goes Upscale
Taipei Times, 2.21.07
Storage facilities in Hawaii are going upscale and many resemble small resorts and hotels on some of the islands’ priciest real estate. Many offer 24-hour access, climate control and use of business centers and Wi-Fi Internet. A StorSecure facility is built on the shores of Oahu next to multimillion-dollar homes and marinas berthing expensive boats. Hawaii Self Storage recently forked out $250,000 to install a clock tower and Hawaiian mosaics. And Public Storage has a built new elegant facility on a high-rent downtown corner with ground-floor space for retail shops.
Police Launch Anti-Crime Program for Storage
Fayetteville Observer, 2.19.07
The Fayetteville, N.C., police department launched Operation Safe Watch, a crime-prevention partnership between the police and 23 self-storage businesses in the city. Developed more than two years ago, the program offers crime-prevention tips, and participating businesses get certificates and posters so customers know safety is a priority at each facility.