Inside Self-Storage

SEP 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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Page 7 of 63

Amy Campbell, Editor W hen I started writing this month's cover story, there was one question I hoped to answer: Is self-storage overbuilding imminent? I'll admit, I had preconceived notions about the state of the industry and where it's headed. In part, that's because of how much information we sift through here on a daily basis. Every week, the ISS team receives dozens of press releases and news alerts about ground-up and conversion projects worldwide. Often, the same areas pop up over and over. These include big cities in the Carolinas, Colorado, Florida and Texas. It's hard not to worry about there being too much storage on the horizon. After interviewing builders, operators and even a firm that tracks self-storage development statistics, I'm no closer to finding a clear answer to my question. Yes, there are markets reaching a saturation of storage supply; and yet there's still pent-up demand in many regions. The difference between building in one market or the other comes down to careful planning and smart decision-making. In this issue, our annual guide to construction and development, we closely examine the extraordinary development cycle the industry is experiencing. In it, you'll read a wealth of information on all phases of the building process. We begin with the aforementioned query into overbuilding (page 18), in which we discuss some data, including construction spending and predictions on new supply, as well as regions to watch. Our contributors also provide insight to what some municipalities are doing to slow industry growth, and offer advice on how to ensure new projects improve rather than impede the markets they enter. If you're new to the industry, you likely have a lot of questions about how to build a thriving property. In the pages ahead are several gems to put you on the right path. First, turn to page 26 for a comprehensive checklist that'll keep your project moving forward and prevent important tasks from slipping through the cracks. Once you've created your complete action plan, you're ready to dig into the details, not the least of which is choosing the right site. When it comes to site selection, it's best to keep an open mind. While you may prefer to build in a primary market with large population growth, a smaller area could be your ticket to success. Read why on page 30. Other articles address important considerations around site design and layout. You'll find guidance on zoning challenges, multi-story building, site grading, the conversion process and more. Plus, three case studies will give you first-hand insight to the development journey from projects in Arizona, Florida and Texas. Read how the builders and facility owners overcame obstacles in design, conversion and renovation. Hopefully, their stories will inspire ideas and solutions for your own builds. The development boom won't last forever, but what happens during this time will leave a permanent mark on the industry. I think it's safe to say nobody wants to operate in an overly crowded market. While there's not much you can do about where and what others build, you can be wise when it comes to your own plans. Complete your due diligence to ensure your proposed market is truly in need of more space. If it isn't, have the courage to walk away. More than likely, a better project is waiting for you just around the bend. All my best, Choosing Your Project Path THE INSIDE VIEW "The self-storage industry is in the midst of an unprecedented development cycle." —Anne Hawkins, Executive Vice President, STR Sector Analysis LLC 6 ISS I September 2018

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