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Self-storage has evolved a lot through the years. It went from some containers on the outskirts of the city to climate-controlled highly secured units in modern buildings. And it is still evolving and growing. It is one of the businesses that have steady growth as people’s need for storage unit grows. There are many things to consider when thinking about self-storage facility design. And it somewhat depends on the location too. For example, if you are thinking about a storage facility Manhattan you know that the storage facility is going to be modern and in tune with all the facility design trends and standards. Here you can read more about the current and upcoming storage facility design and trends.

Think about the location of your self-storage facility

Location is always important, that goes without saying. But you should keep in mind that the location also determines what kind of clients you are going to have. And they come with specific needs and standards for a self-storage facility. So if for example, you want to make 24 hour storage Manhattan. You are going to have to tailor your self-storage facility to the people from Manhattan and surrounding areas. Keep in mind that 60% of storage facilities are single-story, while the other 40% are multi-story. Both have pros and cons, but it all comes down to what kind of real estate you will manage to get in the end. But usually, single-story facilities are four to five acres and multi-story ones are at least two acres.

Man using a laptop to analyze the market for his self-storage facility
It is important to analyze the market and prepare yourself properly

Analyze the market

Another important thing to do is analyze the market. And that includes everything from what kind of clients you are going to have to the competition. And whether you are going to have too much competition for example. Then you just have to provide better service, and that’s why analyzing the market is important. You should also research local movers Manhattan since you are most likely going to be working with a lot of them. And check whether they are satisfied with their current storage providers, maybe you can make them a better offer.

Self-storage facility planning

The 10 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet is the most common storage unit size. But in recent years that is changing, and it is important that you have diversity in your offer. You need to be able to offer your clients different sizes of storage units, and different types of storage units. Aside from providing different storage unit sizes you also need to provide climate controlled storage Manhattan together with the regular ones. Then you need to take security into consideration. And the degree of access that people are going to have, is the storage unit going to be accessible 24/7 or not for example. Keep in mind that storage units location in the building can also be a thing that determines its price, things like:

  • Whether it’s on the ground floor or upper level
  • Is it near an entrance
  • Is it near an elevator

Familiarize yourself with the zoning requirements

Zoning is one of the most important things to consider when building a self-storage facility. Because it is going to dictate what you can and can’t do. To put it simply, zoning requirements are the laws and regulations that control how areas of land are used. And your plans are going to have to meet your city’s zoning regulations. Which can sometimes be tough. But it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with a good architect. Despite some areas having very strict and specific zoning regulations. So familiarize yourself with the zoning regulations of the district where you are considering building your self-storage facility. It’s best to do this with your architect so that he can give you an idea of what you can build in which location. And this way you can choose a part of the city that suits your needs.

Women at a meeting
You need to familiarize yourself with the zoning requirements

Curb appeal is important

When you are building a self-storage facility in a city like New York, curb appeal is very important. Especially if you are building your facility in a place like Manhattan. People want to get what they pay for, and they expect the facility to look good and modern. That goes for both indoors and outdoors. So while it might seem like just an additional expense that’s not worth the trouble, it really is. But taking care of the curb appeal is definitely going to bring you more customers. Because the image you make about your business is important, and you want it to look modern and professional. So it would be best to plan the curb appeal of your self-storage facility and dedicate part of the budget of the whole project to it.

Accesibility and traffic

Another important thing to consider and plan for is the traffic flow in your self-storage facility. Customers need to be able to easily and quickly navigate the facility.  So make sure that you plan well for the traffic flow in your storage facility. Especially when it comes to unloading and loading, and traffic flow inside and around the building. The minimum aisle width by zoning and building regulations is 24 feet, but ideally, you want to make it bigger. You don’t want the aisles to be too narrow. Another good option is to build indoor or drive-thru access to the facility.

Man pushing trolley with big boxes
Good accessibility is important so that people can easily and quickly load and unload their belongings

Technology also plays a big part in a self-storage facility

One of the growing trends is more integration of tech things into self-storage facilities. Everything from smart locks, keyless access gates, and remote use of kiosks. And many other automation tools. The covid-19 pandemic played a big part in that. But due to the convenience and efficiency, it is not a trend, it is becoming a standard so it’s here to stay. And that is something you should integrate into your self-storage facility. And if you can, improve upon it, as you always want to be better than the competition, and provide better service. It is something that clients are going to value, and it will show how serious and professional you are. And how modern your storage facility is. So it also adds to the curb appeal, in a roundabout way, but it certainly helps.

About Author

Born and raised in the upper east side of NYC. I consider myself an expert with anything moving or storage related aspects in New York City. Having been in the NYC relocation industry for almost two decades I found myself at a point that I am able to answer and help my clients on the first phone call. NYC is amazing and I love calling it my home. Feel free to email or call anytime! 212-244-4011