Metro Storage is building its ninth Twin Cities storage facility in Coon Rapids, company officials said Monday adding that they expect the latest structure to be completed next year.
Illinois-based Metro Storage recently paid Shamrock Development Inc. $2.2 million for 6 acres of land at 3021 124th Avenue in Coon Rapids.
The $9 to $10 million project involves building a three-story self-storage facility there that will have about 130,000 square feet of space for 908 units. It will also feature drive-through access, motion-sensor lighting, security cameras and a communication system that connects each storage unit with the main management office.
The new facility will be just west of the Lowes Home Improvement store and just east of Riverdale Commons retail mall.
Blair Nagel, chief executive of Metro Storage, said the area is "an established retail hub and it just brings in the foot traffic that we really look for when we are looking for a site. We look at density and household income and traffic counts, and we want to have a dynamic retail presence around us."
He expects about 70% of customers will be residential users and 30% retail users.
The 47-year-old Metro Storage separately operates 125 facilities in at least 12 states. Its Minnesota operations are in Bloomington, Maple Grove, Mound, Orono, Blaine, Burnsville, Mendota Heights and Eden Prairie.
Minnesota is home to about 718 self-storage facilities, according to the website Self-Storage.com.
The industry has grown in recent decades as residential renters have opted for smaller and affordable living spaces but ultimately needed more storage space over time, said Doug Ressler, business intelligence officer at the data and market-research firm Yardi.
Storage hunters usually seek air-conditioned stalls that come in a variety of sizes and rents, he said.
More recently, this year's coronavirus and last year's trade tensions also spurred demand as medium-size businesses needed new places to stock critical inventories during times of crisis. Being able to keep larger supplies nearby mitigated problems with transit, taxes and supply-chain tangles due to PPE shortages and political tiffs that raised import taxes on a host of goods around the world.
"So we have seen self-storage segue into the industrial sector," Ressler said. "The supply chain is changing with the pandemic. People with groceries and all sorts of consumables now want to have inventory close to their commerce site. So we are seeing a lot of commercial users and not just Joe Smith who has an apartment" rent storage units.