SpareFoot, an online marketplace for self-storage consumers, has crowned Wichita, Kan., as the “Self-Storage Capital of the U.S.” The city’s metro area offers 13.16 square feet of storage space per person, which is more than any of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States, according to “The SpareFoot Blog.”
The company compiled a list of the seven U.S. cities that offer the most self-storage per capita, based on numbers published in the “2015 Self Storage Almanac.” The Top 7 are:
- Wichita, Kan.
- Tulsa, Okla.
- Little Rock, Ark.
- Madison, Wis.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Spokane, Wash.
- Baton Rouge, La.
One reason Wichita is home to 164 self-storage facilities comprising approximately 8.4 million square feet is because the city has attracted employers with sizable workforces including aircraft manufacturers, multi-national corporation Koch Industries Inc. and McConnell Air Force Base, Jen Bayless, a professional organizer, told the source.
However, markets that attract a heavy influx of self-storage development don’t necessarily equate to profitability, according to the blog. Local holdings by Wichita-based Clark Investment Group (CIG), a real estate investment firm specializing in self-storage, are among the company’s worst-performing storage facilities, Stephen Clark II, vice president of CIG, told the source.
While CIG’s Wichita facilities have a healthy overall occupancy of 85 percent to 90 percent, rental rates are below $1 per square foot, Clark said. In general, the market is hurt by low rental rates, slow rental growth and low occupancy, he told the source.
CIG is a private real estate development and investment company. Its portfolio includes more than 5 million square feet of industrial, office, retail and hospitality real estate. The firm owns 65 self-storage facilities comprising more than 35,000 units and provides equity capital to the industry.
Founded in 2008, SpareFoot.com helps consumers find and reserve self-storage units, with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. Since its launch, the company has raised $26 million in venture capital. With a network of more than 7,000 storage facilities ranging from mom-and-pop operations to real estate investment trusts, the company reaches prospective storage renters though partnerships with brands including SelfStorage.com and Penske Truck Rental.