Local Cities seeing a Storage Facility Boom
One storage facility owner says demographic shifts as baby boomers downsize is one reason why more storage units are popping up around the area. Brooklyn Park’s Acorn Mini-Storage opened two years ago and already has plans to expand. Plans are underway for storage facilities in Brooklyn Center and Crystal.
New Storage Units Going In
This past March, the Brooklyn Center City Council approved plans to build on a vacant plot of land along Highway 100.
“This property we have had on the market for quite some time, and the city had owned it,” Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson said at the time. “So I’m happy to see that it’s being put to use.”
Today, work is underway on what will eventually be a four-story, 112,000 square-foot commercial storage building.
About four miles away in Crystal, U-Haul purchased the former Thriftway Grocery Store site along West Broadway with plans to transform it into mini storage units.
And just across the street, a developer will demolish the vacant Herzing University building to make way for another mini storage facility.
“We’re excited about that project as well, just because it’s a vacant site. We’re glad to see some redevelopment of that site as well,” said Dan Olson, Crystal’s city planner.
It’s part of a growing trend of storage buildings popping up across the Twin Cities.
“There’s been quite a few new facilities developed in the last five years or so,” said Chris Kirwan, vice president of Acorn Mini Storage, a local self-storage company that will soon open its 14th location. “Most of our customers are storing household items. So that’s probably about 80-85 percent of our customers.”
Baby Boomers Downsizing
Kirwan says demographic shifts play a big role, as baby boomers are downsizing out of large, single-family homes.
“They have lots of stuff that was in those single-family homes. At the same time, their kids, often millennials, maybe aren’t quite ready or interested in taking on all that stuff,” Kirwan said.
As a result, demand has spiked.
The Brooklyn Park Acorn Mini Storage Facility opened two years ago, and they already have plans to expand.
“Americans, by and large, value their stuff and like to have their stuff. In general, don’t like to part with it,” Kirwan said. “I think the number of self-storage facilities we have around here and around the country serves as a testament to that.”
Brooklyn Park’s Acorn Mini Storage facility should have three more storage buildings open by next summer.
Kirwan predicts that the Twin Cities will reach the peak of mini-storage facilities in 2019.