Six self-storage facilities have either recently opened or are under construction in Plano due in part to the increasing number of residents moving to the area. The trend also represents an effort to meet the city’s increasing commercial needs and downsizing seniors, according to developers.
Valk is developing the locations for CubeSmart, a Pennsylvania-based company that has been ranked the fourth-largest owner and operator of self-storage facilities in the U.S.
With two locations already in Plano, Advantage Storage is constructing its third facility at the corner of McDermott Road and Independence Parkway.
The company also has facilities in Frisco and McKinney with plans to add more area locations in the future, said Eric Kaplan, senior vice president of business development for Advantage Storage.
Storage facilities typically serve customers living within a 3-mile radius and operate on a month-to-month leasing basis. Kaplan said Advantage chose to build its new Plano location to serve what he said is an underserved area of the city.
Like many industries, self-storage construction came to a halt during the Great Recession despite the number of people continuing to move into the Dallas area, Kaplan said. Plano is one of many areas that have been underserved due to this period, he said.
“As soon as money loosened up, the storage business survived,” Kaplan said. “Money started flowing in big time—demand was very high because for years there had been no development.”
Valk said the concept of self-storage units is different than it was 20 years ago. Valk, who has been in the business for 40 years, said the idea began after World War II. The first storage facilities consisted of converted existing buildings, and climate-control was not an option, he said. Today, many people depend on storage units to keep everything from heirlooms and tools to RVs and appliances.
In June, the city of Plano updated its exterior material requirements for all commercial buildings, including storage facilities. Self-storage buildings are allowed only by approval through a specific use permit or as part of a planned development district, Plano Planning Director Christina Day said.
“[These] can require additional design standards for the use, such as specific building materials or landscaping to impact the appearance of the facility, especially if there are residential [developments]nearby,” she said.
Adhering to the city’s new building requirements incurs more costs for developers but also ensures quality storage units complete with modern security technologies, such as coded security gates for access, security cameras and software systems for leasing, Kaplan said. These costs have typically led to higher leasing rates as well, he said.
“New technology has allowed us to have better service. Supply and demand [also]drives the rent,” Kaplan said.
As Plano continues to add more multifamily and single-family housing, Valk said he expects the need for modern self-storage units to continue.
“We’re all keepers of our stuff,” Valk said. Comparatively speaking, this is a relatively new industry. People tend to have more stuff than space. We’re [also]a highly mobile society; that’s where self-storage comes into play.”