Datytona Beach Florida -- Clayton Park
When Frank Nigro and his wife Kathleen moved here from St. Louis last year, they discovered their new home at Latitude Margaritaville didn’t have enough room for all their stuff.
“We went from having 3,000 square feet to just 1,800,” the retired computer consultant said.
They’re not the only ones.
The surge in new homes and apartments in Daytona Beach (specifically Volusia and Flagler counties) has also fueled greater demand for self-service rental storage centers.
In the past two years, at least eight self storage facilities have opened in the Volusia-Flagler area with several more planned.
One of the area’s newest ones is the Stor-It Storage center that opened in January on the corner of Mason Avenue and Williamson Boulevard in Daytona Beach.
The 700-unit center is across the street from the Tomoka Pointe Apartments that opened last year and a new apartment complex under construction called Madison Pointe.
It is also across from two major shopping centers — Tanger Outlets and Tomoka Town Center.
Rental rates for storage units at self-service centers in Volusia and Flagler counties vary depending on size and whether they are climate or non-climate controlled.
At the new Stor-It center in Daytona Beach, the monthly rate for a 5-foot-by-10-foot unit is approximately $100 if it is climate controlled and $60 if it is not, said Scott Vanacore, the company’s president and co-owner.
Frank Nigro and his wife were among the first customers to rent a storage unit at the new Stor-It center.
“It’s just a five-minute drive away,” he said.
The fast-growing Latitude Margaritaville active-adult community on the other side of Interstate 95 is one of the reasons brothers Scott and Todd Vanacore chose the location for their newest Stor-It center.
“Storage centers are a less expensive way to store your goods versus owning a bigger house or renting a bigger apartment,” Scott Vanacore said.
“Margaritaville is a 55-plus community. That age category in my opinion is more apt to want a place to store products because they’re older and have had more time to accumulate stuff, whether it’s family heirlooms or things that are hard for them to let go,” he said.
Port Orange recently saw the opening of a new storage center with at least two more on the way.
The new center is the ExtraSpace Storage at 5850 Journey’s End Way, just south of the Port Orange Country Inn & Suites.
Nearing completion on the other side of I-95 is Acorn Mini Storage on the corner of South Williamson Boulevard and Airport Road.
Also planned is an All Aboard Storage center on Taylor Road, near Crane Lakes Golf and Country Club in Port Orange.
All Aboard Storage CEO Andy Clark said he hopes to break ground later this year with the goal of opening in 2021.
Clark’s company on Jan. 1 added its 21st location by taking over an existing storage center at the Marvin’s Garden Business Center at 4601 E. Moody Blvd. in Bunnell.
It is All Aboard’s first location in Flagler County.
“As the number of households grow, there’s an increase in demand for self-storage,” said Clark. “It’s typical for one out of 10 households rent a self-storage unit.
“Most like it to be within one to three miles from their home or along their daily commute to work that’s convenient to them.”
All Aboard plans to expand the 50,000-square-foot center in Bunnell by adding a 5,000-square-foot climate-controlled self-storage building.
“We continue to look for additional existing self-storage locations to purchase or manage,” Clark said.
Clark said the Volusia-Flagler area has also seen a number of national self-storage center operators enter the market in recent years.
They include Public Storage, the nation’s largest largest self storage chain, ExtraSpace, Storage, CubeSmart and Life Storage.
Another new player in the market is the StorQuest Storage chain that recently opened a location in Deltona and purchased a couple of existing self-storage centers in east Volusia County, said Clark.
StorQuest recently began construction of a center on Old Kings Road, just north of Matanzas High School, said Toby Tobin, a Realtor who writes a blog on the Flagler County real estate market called GoToby.com.
“The storage industry is quite hot right now,” Toby said. “New homes are tending to be smaller, which is helping to create a greater need.”
The Vanacore brothers opened a Stor-It center in Palm Coast in 2018. It is their first in Flagler County.
They recently put a property under contract in Daytona Beach Shores which would be the Ormond Beach-based regional chain’s sixth Stor-It center.
Scott Vanacore said he and his brother also are expanding their Stor-It boat and recreational vehicle storage center in Ormond Beach at 1455 N. U.S. Highway 1.
The boat/RV center is across the street from the headquarters for both Stor-It and Vanacore Homes.
Vanacore and his brother started Stor-It in the early 2000s after seeing a need for storage centers during the last real estate boom.
When the Great Recession hit in late 2007, Vanacore said business for Stor-It initially dipped, but began picking up as the economic downturn worsened.
“As people started losing their homes, storage centers allowed them to keep their possessions,” he said.
The self-storage industry nationally has steadily grown over the years and is expected to generate more than $32 billion in revenues this year, according to an IBIS World report.
And it’s not just homeowners and apartment dwellers that are renting self storage units.
Vanacore said the new Stor-It center on Williamson has also drawn interest from merchants at Tanger Outlets and Tomoka Town Center as well as businesses from nearby office parks.
“We get offers every month to sell our Stor-It centers from national REITS (real estate investment trusts) and other investors, but we’ve turned them down,” he said.
“I don’t see self storage being over-saturated at this time,” Vanacore said. “I’m looking at areas here that are still totally untapped, but I’m not giving those trade secrets away.”