The Value of Climate Control. What it means to your business and your bottom line. It costs a little more to build, but the rewards far outweigh those costs.
A museum was planning renovations as well as a large addition to its original building11, 11,000 pieces of art to a temporary storage facility. There was no question as to whether the facility would be climate-controlled—the museum’s collections are so valuable, its directors even thought it feasible to spend $5 million on its own climate-controlled storage.
Let’s face it, most self-storage tenants store items of far less value than a museum collection, but they believe their possessions to be worth as much.
Not all stored goods require climate control, but others will always necessitate it. For this reason, all self-storage facilities should offer at least some climate control to attract the largest number of potential customers.
The ’90s brought climate control to the front of the self-storage industry. Conventional sites were getting harder to find, and those available were expensive or on the wrong side of town. Prices of land had gone above $2 per square foot. If you happened to like big-city life, the price for raw land was often above $10 per square foot, if the land was available at all. Zoning boards were tired of giving conditional use permits to build self-storage, which was beginning to get a less-than-acceptable reputation.
Developers needed to use land more efficiently and increase income to offset the high price of land. At the same time, a higher-quality product became a constant request by renters.
Security, mold and mildew, bugs and rodents, and roof leaks were becoming important issues with those storing items of any value.
At the same time, the “big box” stores—Wal-Mart, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowes and several grocery chains—began to leave behind vacant buildings. In the ’80s, these retailers had decided to occupy 60,000- to 100,000-squarefoot stores. In the 90s, the trend was to relocate to buildings of 150,000 to 200,000 square feet to handle their ever-growing inventories. These converted buildings have caused developers to seriously consider using climate control.