Self-Storage Demand, Building Permits Boom in Northwest

Consumer demand for self-storage in parts of Idaho and Washington is outpacing supply in some areas of the region, which has seen a spike in self-storage construction permits the last three years. Kootenai County, Idaho, and Spokane County, Wash., along with local municipalities, issued 46 self-storage building permits worth $14.1 million in fees through November last year, reminiscent of the area’s previous boom in 2007 and 2008, according to the source.

In 2007, developers in the same market were issued permits for 62 projects, with 54 approved the following year. The recent trend is in stark contrast to the market in 2012, in which the same area produced only two approved permits, the source reported.

“In the past two and a half or three years, growth has been exponential,” said Todd Beadle, facility manager at Chester Self Storage, a property owned by Dugan Development Co. in Spokane Valley, Wash. With the 350-unit facility at near full capacity, Dugan is adding another 70 units, Beadle told the source.

Demand is being partly driven by the local housing market, which has also changed the duration of stay at Chester, according to Beadle. “People rent for much shorter periods of time,” he said. “They have a very specific need. They’re selling a house and they’re relocating, so they need storage for six months.”

Residential downsizing is also contributing to storage needs because homeowners don’t want to get rid of their possessions, according to John Patrick Wood, who’s building a 100,000-square-foot All Seasons Mini Storage just south of Spokane International Airport.

Self-storage developer Steel Structures America Inc. has built nearly 900,000 square feet of storage space across the region in the last three years, which is four times the volume it constructed the previous three years.

“We’re seeing such an increased volume of people moving to the area,” said Justin Sternberg, co-owner of the contracting firm. “Rents are rising. Units are relatively scarce, and people are asking to rent units before we complete the projects.”

Source:
Journal of Business, Self-Storage Demand Booms in the Inland Northwest

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