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Include Self Storage on the list of growing industries in Atlanta

ATLANTA—Considering Atlanta’s rapid population growth and favorable business environment, it should come as no surprise that the capital of Georgia has seen a surge in self-storage development projects of late.

According to U.S Census Bureau data from 2016, the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area is the ninth largest MSA in the U.S with approximately 5.8 million people. That figure represented 10% growth during a span of six years. Couple that growth with current economic conditions, diversity and ease of talent acquisition due to the numerous universities housed in the market, and experts list Atlanta as a favorite to land Amazon’s second headquarters.

As current market conditions evolve, STR analyzed its database to ascertain the variances in Atlanta MSA’s self-storage industry since early 2017.

STR is currently tracking 662 open and operational self-storage facilities in the Atlanta MSA with 63% being chain-affiliated and 37% managed independently. Public Storage has the largest chain presence followed by Extra Space Storage and U-Haul Moving & Storage. The largest open and operating self-storage facility has an estimated 346,000 net rentable square feet (NRSF). On a county level, Cobb County represents the largest count (92) of the 662 open and operating self-storage facilities followed closely by Fulton County (89) and Gwinnett County (87). The NRSF per capita for the Atlanta MSA is approximately 6.0.

Previously, STR tracked 39 self-storage projects in various phases of development in the Atlanta MSA. This total increased to 67, which represents 72% growth in the MSA’s pipeline. Of these projects, 53 are new constructions, 13 are expansion projects and one is deferred. The average size of a facility under development is approximately 71,000 NRSF with an average of five buildings. The largest development project in the MSA is a facility with an estimated 226,000 NRSF.

On a county level, a large number of pipeline developments are located in Fulton County (13 projects), which grew by approximately 100,000 residents (+11 %) from 2010 to 2016. Furthermore, our analysis indicates that most pipeline developments are in areas with an existing self-storage footprint. The majority (95%) of the total pipeline developments in the MSA are in zip codes with at least one open and operational self storage facility. 

With a favorable macroeconomic operating environment, STR expects about half (33 projects) of the total pipeline projects to be completed in the upcoming year. In a scenario where all 67 self-storage projects are completed, STR estimates a total of 4.7 million NRSF (+14%) entering the Atlanta MSA, increasing current NRSF per capita from 6.0 to 6.8

Individuals and organizations interested in purchasing a listing of these facilities under development or existing facilities in markets across the country should contact STR at ssinfo@str.com.

About the authors

Anne Hawkins leads new business initiatives in the Sector Analysis division of STR. She is responsible for managing and implementing all aspects of sales and operations across this division. Previously, Anne worked in private equity and investment banking.  Anne can be reached at ahawkins@str.com or +1 (615) 824 8664 x.3341.

Kwabena (Kobe) Akuffo Owoo is a Research Analyst at STR.  He can be reached at kakuffoowoo@str.com or +1 (615) 824 8664 x.3009.