Are Self Storage Facilities Good for a City?

storage unit garage doorsI work in the storage industry, but until now I had not been confronted with the question of whether I’d want a storage facility in my neighborhood. Then a rival storage company began construction of a self-storage facility a few blocks from my house.

My initial reaction was anger since I only want my company to be building new storage facilities in our metro area. I was frankly surprised to see anything going up on the spot where they chose to build. While it’s close to a major freeway and is free from competition, the city they are building in—my city–is very business-averse and is incredibly choosy about the businesses they let in. And to see the city approve a storage facility over other types of businesses was even more shocking. (More on this choice below.)

Surprisingly Beneficial

Upon closer inspection, there are a great deal of benefits to a storage facility going up in my community.

First among them is the additional property tax that will be brought in. Self-storage facilities (and other commercial businesses) contribute a sizable amount of property taxes to the local government. This is a due to their typically larger-footprint and the higher property tax rate they are charged. Most cities rely heavily on commercial property taxes to fund their budgets.

Secondly, there are a lot of businesses that could have been put in that spot. At one point, Holiday Inn proposed building a 71-unit Holiday Inn Express on the same location. This would have increased traffic around my house dramatically. Or it could have been worse than that. Any manner of business could have gone there. Think bar/restaurant, gas station, oil change, grocery store, thrift store or something else. Suddenly, a self-storage building doesn’t seem that bad.

Good Neighbor Policy

Moreover, storage facilities are normally quiet places that have relatively few visitors each day. In the case of my company’s storage facilities, they are very secure and kept extremely clean and well-lit. And our newest facilities have architectural designs that are as aesthetically pleasing as any commercial building going up today. They often have soaring glass walls and great color palates that let them blend in well with the surroundings.

And if the storage company building in this location is like ours, they will reach out to the local community and establish relationships with schools and charity organizations to volunteer storage space for good causes.

Can’t Stop Progress

Every time I drive past the construction site of this new self-storage facility, I have the urge to go in and do a little bit of sabotage. But that would only delay the inevitable. Instead, I should be happy that a respectable business is going up and adding to my city’s tax base. And just maybe there will be fewer cars parked in streets now that they have room to be put in people’s garages.

About the Author: Derek Hines

About the Author: Derek Hines

Digital Marketing Specialist

Derek is originally from the great state of Wisconsin (go Badgers), but is slowly becoming a Pacific Northwesterner. As part of the Digital Marketing team, he writes extensively on storage, moving and life for West Coast Self-Storage, based in Everett, Washington.