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Development in undersupplied Tampa may be on hold

Hurricane Irma likely caused a slowdown in Florida’s self storage development activity, and while it remains unclear how far that slowdown extended in Tampa, the area may see a favorable short-term operating environment due to a spike in demand and lower than average existing inventory.

The Tampa Metropolitan Statistical Area (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater) had an estimated population of 3 million in 2016, according to the U.S Census Bureau. That figure represented 8.9% growth from 2010 population estimates. In the self storage sector, square footage per person in Tampa is lower than the national average.  

As market conditions develop, STR analyzed its development database to deduce the changes in self storage pipeline activity in the Tampa MSA.

STR is currently tracking 333 existing self storage facilities in the Tampa MSA with 58% being chain-affiliated and 42% managed independently. Public Storage has the largest chain presence followed by U-Haul Moving & Storage and Extra Space Storage. The average size of an existing facility is approximately 49,000 net rentable square feet (NRSF) with an average of six buildings per property. Tampa’s NRSF per capita is approximately 5.4. On a county level, Hillsborough County represents the largest share (40%) of the 333 existing self storage facilities. Pinellas County, Pasco County and Hernando County represent 36%, 17% and 7%, respectively.

Earlier this year, STR tracked 33 self storage projects in various phases of development in the Tampa MSA. This total has increased to 34 projects with four in expansion & renovation and 30 as new developments. The average size of a facility under development is approximately 75,000 NRSF with an average of three buildings. The largest development project in the MSA is a facility with an estimated 100,000 NRSF.

The greatest number of pipeline developments is in Pinellas County. Further analysis indicates that most pipeline developments are in areas with an existing self storage presence. The majority (97%) of the total pipeline developments in the MSA are in zip codes with at least one existing self storage facility. 

Due to the reallocation of labor for rebuilding efforts and higher cost of building materials as a result of the hurricane, STR expects delays in construction for most of these development projects. In a scenario where all 34 self storage projects are completed, STR estimates a total of 2.5 million NRSF (16% growth) entering the Tampa MSA, increasing current NRSF per capita from 5.4 to 6.2.  

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

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 or +1 (615) 824 8664 x.3341. 

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