Pent up demand is causing a surge in building
By Mike Corbett
Self-storage facilities are cropping up like daisies all over Hamilton County lately. Drive any major thoroughfare and you will eventually come across a recently completed development or one under construction, and they are often right down the street from another one. It’s part of national trend but may be more prominent here.
“Nationally storage saw virtually no new construction from 2010 until 2014,” says Jeff Norman, Vice-president of investor relations & corporate communications for Extra Space Storage, the nation’s second largest owner of storage facilities, “(while) demand for storage continued to increase due to population growth as well as increased product usage…..The strong returns in storage since 2010 have attracted attention from the real estate development community, and we are now in a storage development cycle and have seen a fair amount of new supply in certain markets.”
Like Hamilton County. While no one keeps track of the number of storage developments across the county, it’s hard to miss all the activity, partly because these units are much more visible than they used to be. Once relegated to industrial parks and other back-road locations, storage is coming out of the closet and competing with retail for prime real estate. Of course, that means the facilities have to be more attractive, which makes them more expensive to build, but the increased traffic and visibility are apparently worth the added cost.
“The key on these is to make sure they fit into the context of the surrounding area,” says Sarah Reed, Noblesville Planning Director.
“Developers are now willing to add brick facades and other amenities to make their projects comply with zoning codes,” says Rob Schick, Senior Vice President at Revel and Underwood, a Fishers-based developer and property manager, currently developing a storage facility in Noblesville.