Why So Many Self-Storage Units Are Being Built

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Susie Grogan of Anthem used a storage facility for years, starting with things needed for her job. “Little by little, my own stuff started to take over,” Grogan said. “I painfully cleaned out the unit [and] donated everything. I vowed never to let this happen again.”

No doubt, someone was there to take her spot. And there are lots of spots. With more on the way.

Developers couldn’t get financing for self-storage facilities during the recession, so virtually none were built between 2009 and 2016, said Anne DeCoster, executive director of the Arizona Self-Storage Association. All the while, larger facilities raised prices “because they could,” she said.

Growth Spurt

Last year, 25 new self-storage “stores,” as they’re called, opened in the Phoenix Metro Area, DeCoster said.

In the I-17 corridor between Deer Valley Road and New River, there are five existing large and smaller stores with indoor units. At least five more are proposed or under construction:

  • Norterra: A two-story facility is being built on the north side of Happy Valley Road between 17th and 19th avenues.
  • Norterra: Dollar Storage is set for construction just south of the intersection of 23rd Avenue and Happy Valley Road.
  • Tramonto: Plans shelved in 2016 for one near Home Depot have resurfaced. [See article at right.]
  • Anthem: US Storage Centers is erecting one on the east side after first getting plans approved in 2009.
  • Anthem: U-Haul has plans to double the footprint of its west-side store.

Nationwide, there are more than 50,000 self-storage facilities, according to the Self Storage Association. About 900 new ones were built last year.

Who Needs It?

Phoenix has 5.7 square feet of storage per person, compared to an average of 5.1 in the nation’s top 100 population centers, according to data provided by Poppy Behrens, publisher at the industry analyst MiniCo Publishing. “Occupancy rates in the city are trending close to the national average, slightly above 90 percent,” Behrens said.

People often turn to self-storage when life happens, such as a divorce or lost job forcing a move into the parents’ home, or when a parent dies and the stuff has to go somewhere. Conversely, when someone gets a new job, they may move or remodel.

“When things are good, that’s good for self-storage,” DeCoster said. “When things are bad, that’s good for self-storage, too.”


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Up to 25 percent of storage is used by businesses, she said. Retail stores put away seasonal inventory. Pharmaceutical reps need a climate-controlled place for samples. Professionals have boxes of records. Contractors need a place for tools and equipment.

Others simply find storage makes sense.

“The apartments in Phoenix do not offer enough storage space to store our stuff,” said Talus Ranch resident Bob Wesoloski. “Also, it is more cost-effective to go to a storage than rent an apartment garage.”

A 5-foot square unit with climate control runs from $55 a month at lesser-known companies in North Phoenix to $75 at a well-known one with orange doors, In&Out research found.

US Storage Centers, nearing completion on Anthem’s east side, plans more than 700 storage units and 50 outdoor RV spaces. In&Out Staff Photo
norterra self-storage facility
This self-storage facility in Norterra is seen from near 19th Avenue. In&Out Publications Staff Photo
u-haul anthem
U-Haul has plans to expand its facility on Anthem’s east side.
tramonto self-storage proposal location
A planned self-storage facility in Tramonto was shelved but has resurfaced.

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Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
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Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
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ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

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Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

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