Like any other business investment, where you place your self-storage facility is a key component to its success. Below are the ideal characteristics of a self-storage facility site, in order of importance. Keep in mind that it is very hard to find a site that meets all of the following criteria. Strive for a site that features as many of the desirable characteristics as possible.
- Properly zoned for self storage
- On a heavily-traveled road
- Storage buildings visible from the street, especially the doors
- Closer to the population than the competition
- Flat topography
- Convenient access
Finding land that is properly zoned for self storage is most likely to be your biggest challenge. A site may have high visibility and a workable topography but is zoned for other uses. To find the right piece of land with proper zoning (and fewest headaches) contact your local zoning official or visit the community's website. These resources will provide information regarding your community's zoning guidelines. A zoning map of your market will help you identify which properties that have both the ideal characteristics and proper zoning.
Once you have the zoning guidelines in hand, begin analyzing each of the properties you've selected and determine where to place the self-storage building(s). Each type of zone will dictate the setback requirements. On industrial property, you may be allowed to place your building 30' off the front property line and 10' off the rear and side property lines. In commercial zoning, you may need to have a 40' front setback with 20' rear and side setbacks. This is important information to gather in order to properly layout your site.
In some cases, the properties may already have existing buildings in place. Don't discount these sites too quickly! Consider demolishing or utilizing the existing building as a part of your self-storage project if all other characteristics of the site are right. This can be an effective way to achieve a desirable location while keeping costs down.
To determine a property's financial feasibility, visit our investment calculator. Calculate a few scenarios with different land costs to determine how much you can afford, while still achieving desirable financial goals.
Ready for the next step? Visit Layout Site, which will discuss how to maximize the land while meeting your market's needs.
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