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Rising Trend: Conversion of Empty Buildings into Self Storage Facilities

Date: 2/6/2015
Author: Stephen Hollowell

 Rising Trend: Conversion of Empty Buildings into Self Storage Facilities

In 1984, there were just over 6,500 self storage facilities across the United States. Today, there are nearly 50,000. As the demand for self storage has risen exponentially over the past few decades, facilities have been erected traditionally on the outskirts of town and with brand new, ground-up construction.

Benefits of Self Storage Conversions

As land plots for new self storage facilities have become increasingly sparse and expensive, developers have turned to converting existing buildings into fully-functional self storage facilities. This not only benefits the environment by recycling old structures, it also benefits the developers in a number of different ways;

·         The conversion of empty buildings into self storage facilities reduces construction costs by up to 30%

·         Many existing structures are conveniently located near major commercial centers with easy access

·         Having a convenient location in a busy commercial area automatically exposes the converted self storage facility to a large, existing customer base

·         Converting an existing indoor building into a self storage can save on heating and cooling costs

As larger facilities such as big-box retailers, major grocery chains, movie theatres and auto dealerships have closed their doors due to changes in the economy, they are leaving behind large-scale buildings that can easily be converted into self storage properties.

U-Haul Converts Temecula, CA Property

A prime example of this rising trend is U-Haul’s recent acquisition of the former Center for Employment Training Rancho in Temecula, CA in January, 2015, and announcement of plans to convert it into a self storage facility. The 5.2 acre property which houses a 38,858 square foot building was purchased by U-Haul and influenced by their corporate sustainability initiatives.

U-Haul Moving and Storage of Temecula will feature a showroom for cargo vans, trucks and trailer rentals, self storage units, U-Box moving and storage containers, propane tank rentals and more. U-Haul’s reuse of existing structures not only saves them money, it also eliminates the energy and resources needed to construct an entirely new facility.


Bergsman, Steve. “Why Are Self-Storage Conversions On The Rise?” MST Constructors, Inc.  March 2005.

Ritchie, Holly. ”Converting Existing Buildings to Self Storage has its Benefits.” Self Storage Magnet.  Feb. 13, 2013.

“A Remarkable Self-Storage Conversion: Life Storage Centers of River North, Chicago.” JANUS International.   October 2012.

“U-Haul Moves into Temecula, Mixing Old Traditions with New Ideas.” PR Newswire. Jan. 27, 2015.