Top 5 Florida Markets for Self Storage Development
Florida’s economic growth has been fueled by substantial population increase, employment gains in high-paying industries and a business-friendly environment. The coronavirus outbreak, however, has impacted Florida’s positive fundamentals, leaving the state in distress. But despite economic uncertainties, following the national pattern, self storage projects have continued to push through in Florida.
As of July, some 6.8 million square feet—4.4 percent of existing stock—of storage space was under construction in the Sunshine State, according to Yardi Matrix. We have identified the top five Florida markets based on underway projects as a percentage of total inventory, using Yardi Matrix data.
Tampa has been one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida over the past few years, having gained 51,438 residents in 2018, up 1.7 percent year-over-year and well above the 0.6 percent national figure. Tampa is favored by downsizing retirees, a population cohort that is a major demand driver for self storage.
As construction in Florida was deemed essential during the statewide lockdown, development activity in the self storage sector remained elevated. As of July, 16 projects were under construction, totaling 1.3 million square feet. These developments accounted for 4.5 percent of the market’s existing 29 million-square-foot stock.
Miami’s self storage market has been benefiting from the market’s diversifying economy and rapidly expanding housing stock. Although the metro started to feel the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, self storage development has not yet been visibly affected.
Year-to-date, five storage facilities encompassing a total of 582,562 square feet came online in Miami. Some 777,200 square feet—across seven projects—was underway as of July, accounting for 5 percent of existing inventory. With a completed stock of 15.4 million square feet, the market has around 6.3 net square feet of storage space available per capita, slightly below the 6.6 national figure.
3. WEST PALM BEACH – BOCA RATON
Economic growth in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market has been underpinned by a tax-friendly climate and relocating businesses from the Northeast. Around 70 financial services firms have moved from New York City to the county in the last three years, according to the Palm Beach County Business Development Board.
Self storage construction picked up in 2016, and over the past four years, the metro’s inventory has grown by more than 1.5 million square feet. As of July, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton had four facilities under development, encompassing 605,951 square feet and accounting for 5.1 percent of total stock.
2. FORT LAUDERDALE
In line with other South Florida markets, Fort Lauderdale’s economy experienced strong growth in recent years. Healthy market fundamentals resulted in demand for self storage—over the past decade, Fort Lauderdale has added more than 3.3 million square feet of storage space to its inventory.
Although the pandemic has taken a toll on the metro’s fundamentals, self storage projects did not come to a halt. As of July, Fort Lauderdale had nearly 970,000 square feet of storage space underway, accounting for 5.4 percent of existing stock. The metro had nine projects under development, all slated for completion in 2020.
Despite a decade of limited deliveries, when it comes to the share of space under construction as a percentage of existing inventory, Pensacola ranked No. 1, with six properties underway, totaling more than 550,000 square feet. The projects represented 5.9 percent of total inventory as of July.
Three of the six facilities underway are conversion projects that were formerly retail structures— An Absolute Storage-branded property totaling more than 127,00 square feet, just off Freeway 98, and two U-Haul assets encompassing some 150,000 and 113,000 square feet, respectively.
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