Two self-storage companies are working on large-scale expansions in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to meet rising demand, and a third company in nearby Truro doubled its size last year after operating at 98 percent capacity for four consecutive years.
“After we doubled our site, we were immediately running at 47 percent,” Carla Wright, manager for Windmill U-Store-It, told the source. The facility is 630 units and three levels near the Burnside Park area of Halifax and caters mostly to business clients, such as contractors, pharmaceutical companies and salespeople. “Every month we’re inching up. Right now, we’re at 55 percent capacity and this is our slow season. We’re expecting more activity in the spring when people are buying and selling homes, and the university kids are moving around.”
Truro-based Premiere Self Storage has begun construction on a 600-unit, two-story facility to open next month in Dartmouth. The company operates facilities in Bridgewater, Chester and Truro. “Our target market is commercial," Operations Partner Ian Rankin told the source. "But we’re also trying to cater to the people who not only need storage because they’re moving but [also] everyday people who just want to de-clutter their homes or have a space to store stuff related to their business." Rankin added the self-storage business in Atlantic Canada is sorely behind the United States and Ontario in terms of modernity, and the days of simplistic units on the outskirts of cities are being phased out.
Features of the new facility include a boardroom, shipping and receiving services, humidity control, drive-up units and a complementary truck and driver on move-in day. A biometric scan will grant customers 24-hour access. Premiere to build as many as four 600-unit facilities, each covering two acres, in the next five years, and a site at Bayers Lake is very possible. “The competition in Halifax is growing and we’re going to keep moving forward and try to pick up new services,” Rankin said. “Competition is not a negative thing. It promotes the industry itself, and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.”
Another local operator, Metro Self-Storage, has planned a four-story expansion featuring climate-control units in Bayers Lake Business Park in Halifax. It will be the largest of Metro's 12 sites.