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  1. #1
    GrandSlamStorage is offline Junior Member
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    Default Need some advice

    Myself, a buddy, and an investor are going to start up a self storage unit in southwest washington in the next couple years. We are fishing around for some advice, and a couple answers that need to be answered.... Figured I would start getting active on the forum...

    If you guys could, we are looking at a 150-200 unit facility with an office and 20 or so vehicle spaces outdoors. What is the typical acreage that is common for a facility this size? Would 5 acres be too much or not enough... thanks for the help,
    Dan

  2. #2
    Storman's Avatar
    Storman is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Need some advice

    Dan- Welcome to the forum, there is a lot of good information banging around in the heads of the people on here.

    To some extent, the size of the property will depend on your unit mix and your style of construction. Obviously, 150-200 10x20 units will take up twice as much room as 150-200 10x10 units. I doubt you'll go multi-story, but that would affect your lot needs too. The lot dimensions will also determine the best way to layout the units for easiest traffic flow and room for large trucks to navigate the property safely. I have just about 400 units and my property is roughly 60' wide by 1800', so I'm just about 2.5 acres, but my facility is shaped like a hallway that is 1/3 of a mile long. 60 (20%) or so of my units are located on a 2nd floor.

    Since we had the property first, it dictated what we could do with it while still having 20' driveways and accessibility for crazy nutjobs in 24' U-haul trucks. (hint= build your facility like we did, no eaves to get torn off)

    I don't know the prices in SW Washington, but likely the dirt is relatively cheap. I would tend to buy more than I thought I needed if the location was right. That's the most important thing, location. Luckily, storage is PERFECT under power lines, next to the airport, next to train tracks, adjacent to the poopy dairy farm, etc. Often times the "bastard" properties with high visibility are best suited for storage. Nobody wants to live or work there, but they'll stash their junk there with no problem.

    The cost of storage construction CAN BE very cheap, yet in many markets the price per square foot is equal to or higher than the price per square foot of residential apartments. All the money and no toilets to clog

    Additionally, are you building for the long haul or are you speculating on land values? Are you building to rent it up and sell it off or will you keep it? Since we're a family owned/operated business, we spent a bit more on the construction of our facility than I would have if I were speculating. Since I plan on living here and keeping it in the family, we did it up pretty nice. If I were speculating on land, I might have just asphalted the dirt and dropped in shipping containers and added a nice facade over the fronts to keep the city happy. If I was planning on renting up and selling it off, I would have built something much more basic than I did.
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  3. #3
    GrandSlamStorage is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Storman View Post
    Dan- Welcome to the forum, there is a lot of good information banging around in the heads of the people on here.

    To some extent, the size of the property will depend on your unit mix and your style of construction. Obviously, 150-200 10x20 units will take up twice as much room as 150-200 10x10 units. I doubt you'll go multi-story, but that would affect your lot needs too. The lot dimensions will also determine the best way to layout the units for easiest traffic flow and room for large trucks to navigate the property safely. I have just about 400 units and my property is roughly 60' wide by 1800', so I'm just about 2.5 acres, but my facility is shaped like a hallway that is 1/3 of a mile long. 60 (20%) or so of my units are located on a 2nd floor.

    Since we had the property first, it dictated what we could do with it while still having 20' driveways and accessibility for crazy nutjobs in 24' U-haul trucks. (hint= build your facility like we did, no eaves to get torn off)

    I don't know the prices in SW Washington, but likely the dirt is relatively cheap. I would tend to buy more than I thought I needed if the location was right. That's the most important thing, location. Luckily, storage is PERFECT under power lines, next to the airport, next to train tracks, adjacent to the poopy dairy farm, etc. Often times the "bastard" properties with high visibility are best suited for storage. Nobody wants to live or work there, but they'll stash their junk there with no problem.

    The cost of storage construction CAN BE very cheap, yet in many markets the price per square foot is equal to or higher than the price per square foot of residential apartments. All the money and no toilets to clog

    Additionally, are you building for the long haul or are you speculating on land values? Are you building to rent it up and sell it off or will you keep it? Since we're a family owned/operated business, we spent a bit more on the construction of our facility than I would have if I were speculating. Since I plan on living here and keeping it in the family, we did it up pretty nice. If I were speculating on land, I might have just asphalted the dirt and dropped in shipping containers and added a nice facade over the fronts to keep the city happy. If I was planning on renting up and selling it off, I would have built something much more basic than I did.
    This is excellent information. We have a couple great ideas to work from now. I never thought about the powerlines, traintracks and dairy farms (WE HAVE PLENTY OF THAT IN SW WASHINGTON!)
    Our plans are to find a property that isnt to large, because we would like to expand to other locations instead of expand on the single property. We are going to be using steel (never would have thought about the eaves! so thanks for that), single story, and a nice mix of multiple size units. I dont know if our first location is going to have an inside access to smaller units (havent thought about this yet, need to crunch some more numbers) and dont think we are going to offer climate control since the coldest it gets here is about freezing at its coldest and mid 90s for a week or two. I have friends that lay concrete/asphalt so I will be most likely running asphalt throughout (a couple storages in the country here are gravel but I dont know how anyone could manage moving heavy objects on a dolly through it). We will construct the office out of wood and leave an area that we could add a small apartment above the unit. If you didnt mind emailing me, I have a couple more private questions that I had that probably didnt want to get spread, some insurance questions, and things like that I would appreciate it. My email is danmecum@yahoo.com. Thanks a ton for the advice, and tips. We need to first locate a plot of land and move from there.... The nice thing about the Portland/Vancouver area is that its growing like crazy and there are all kinds of farmers/developers hurting for money and are dumping property cheap right now... thanks again

  4. #4
    SBAstorage's Avatar
    SBAstorage is offline Member
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    Default Re: Need some advice

    I have 200 units in 6 buildings on 2 acres with 70% of my units being 10x10 and 10x20 and that includes 25' drives

  5. #5
    Elaine is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Need some advice

    We have 207 units in 5 buildings ranging from 8x12, 10x12, 11x25 all on 2 acres. Of course that does not allowing for any additional parking.

 

 

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