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Zoning restrictions not slowing development in Miami

MIAMI, Florida—With recent zoning changes, Miami joined a small set of markets like San Francisco, California, and Charleston, South Carolina, in advocating for restrictions on the development of self storage facilities. The Miami City Commission passed an ordinance that will require a minimum 2,500-foot distance between self storage facilities in any direction. However, growing demand for self storage facilities, combined with Miami’s lower than average square foot of storage per capita, will likely result in significant supply growth in the market.  

According to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau data, the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is the eighth most populated MSA in the U.S. with an estimated population of 6 million. Miami was recently ranked first by job-search platform, indeed, as the best city in the U.S. for job seekers. These factors, coupled with the vibrant culture and favorable weather Miami has to offer, it becomes obvious why there is demand for real estate development in the market, especially in the self storage sector.

With this news in mind, STR analyzed its development database to discern self storage supply growth in the Miami MSA since 2016.

Previously, STR tracked 85 self-storage projects in various phases of development in the Miami MSA. This total has increased to 94, which represents 11% growth in development in the MSA. This total includes unconfirmed projects that have not yet been zoned or approved as well as projects under different phases of planning, construction or expansion. Of these projects, 86 are new constructions and eight are expansions. STR also is tracking a pair of abandoned self storage projects that may come back online depending on market conditions. The average size of a facility under development in the Miami MSA (based on a sample of 70 projects) is approximately 82,000 net rentable square feet (NRSF) with an average number of two buildings per facility. The largest project in the MSA is a facility with an estimated 202,000 NRSF. At the market level, Fort Lauderdale and Miami represent 74 projects total (79 % of the total MSA).

With present market conditions boosting demand for self storage facilities, STR expects 35 of these development projects to be completed in the upcoming year. Should all 94 self storage projects be completed, STR estimates that 7.9 million NRSF could enter the Miami MSA. This represents a 30% increase versus the estimate in the NRSF in our pipeline from approximately six months ago.

If you have an interest in purchasing a listing of these facilities under development or existing facilities in markets across the United States, please 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.