Phasing your self storage fit-out is a process often used in the self-storage industry on projects both small & large projects. But is it a good idea? Several factors should be considered before deciding which approach is best for your individual needs.
The strategy is often used to build or expand a facility one stage at a time; where an operator/developer builds a facility, watches business roll in and, when the rooms are full, builds additional mezzanine flooring and self storage units to keep up with the demand.
Phasing your self storage facility can be slightly more expensive than constructing all of your rooms on day one. However, it is often prudent to look at a project in this fashion to enable a positive cash flow situation, especially if this is your first venture into the industry. There are several further advantages to phasing. At the forefront, phasing allows the client the flexibility of judging their market and what the needs of the specific facility are in its exact location. Often, self stores will have completely different room size demands even when they are a short distance apart, so it is vital to get this right and not to jump in at the deep end without having this evidence. The earlier phase can serve as market research for the operator to understand what kind of unit mix is definitively required for the next phase. If the operator gets more demand for a specific unit size not available in the first phase, they can add that or other sizes in the expansion.
A big plus with phasing a fit-out is that revenues created through a phasing project can be applied to future expansion. By way of example, the operator of a 30,000-square foot initial phase of a 60,000-square foot project – with later plans to add three, 10,000 square foot phases; can keep debts low and use the money generated from the existing rooms directly to finance the latter phases.
If you do want to look at designing and constructing your facility in day one though, then you should spend lots of time looking around the local area at your competitors, to see what they are offering. Do not ever assume that you know the market. All villages/towns and cities will have varying demands and it is vital that the facility is designed to focus on these specific requirements. You will need to consider ease of access throughout the building, escape routes, security and a whole host of other factors. Design is the key here to ensure the flexibility of room sizes should you need to dismantle and reinstall blocks of rooms at a later date to meet demand.
Always look to use a self storage design and construction company with a proven track record – one that has been in the industry for many years and who can provide you with contacts for people they have worked for. This way, you can be certain that you will be getting both value for money and a professional service. Ask to look at their existing projects and be sure to spend time discussing the options.
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