This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  Close

BOSTON: Historic, crowded and popular for self storage development

BOSTON—One of the oldest and largest cities in the United States, Boston has seen a surge in self storage development projects of late. 

The Boston MSA (Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH), 10th largest in the U.S., comprised an estimated population of 4.8 million according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last year. That figure represented 5% growth over figures from six years prior. 

Population growth, coupled with recent news of high rental costs in Boston, has encouraged home-sharing activities, while living space for residents has become limited. With smaller living spaces, many residents have opted to store their belongings in self storage spaces. This decision has led to an increase in the demand for self storage facilities in the Boston MSA and created a surge in development to absorb this demand. According to STR’s inaugural Self Storage Top 25 Markets development report, Boston ranks fourth in projected self storage facility count growth (+14.9%). 

As market conditions evolve, STR analyzed its database to further determine the impact of new self storage supply in the Boston MSA. 

Currently, STR is tracking 298 open and operational self storage facilities in the Boston MSA with 56% being chain-affiliated and 44% managed independently. Extra Space Storage has the largest chain presence followed by Public Storage. 

Previously, STR tracked 41 self storage projects in various phases of development in the MSA. This number has increased to 64, which represents a 56% increase in development. The total number of projects includes unconfirmed projects that have not yet been zoned or approved as well as projects under different phases of planning, construction, expansion or renovation. Of these projects, 42 are new constructions, 20 are expansions and two are renovations. 

The average size of a facility under development in the Boston MSA (based on a 70% sample) is approximately 69,000 net rentable square feet (NRSF) with an average number of four buildings per facility. The largest project in the MSA is a facility with an estimated 144,000 NRSF. At the market level, Boston accounts for 59% (38 projects) of total projects in the MSA.

With favorable self storage macroeconomic operating conditions, STR expects more than half (35) of these development projects to be completed in the upcoming year. In a scenario where all 64 self storage projects are completed, STR estimates a total of 4.4 million NRSF entering the Boston MSA. This represents 70% growth in estimated NRSF from a previous analysis conducted approximately seven months ago.

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.