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30 May 2024

Unlocking New Trends: How Mixed-Use Self Storage is Revolutionizing the Industry


During the recent ISS Las Vegas World Expo, we had the opportunity to engage with industry experts, gaining insights into the current self-storage landscape. Phil Warchol of Forge Building Company shares the latest trends, including mixed-use requirements and innovative conversions of distressed commercial properties. Discover how creativity is reshaping the industry!


James: Hey everybody, we're with Phil from Forge Building. This guy's an expert in the industry, been in this space for I don't even know when. So Phil, what are you seeing with all the challenges from the development side? What are you seeing on the effects of projects that are actually breaking ground? Are they mostly class A, single story drive up? What are you seeing?

Phil: There's a good mix of all of them. What we're seeing is, I would say, a new type where municipalities are requiring frontage roads to consist of flex space. Then they're mixing in RV, canopy, some non-climate controlled, some climate controlled. So within each lot usage, it's really a pretty good mix of a number of different types of buildings.

James: So that creativity they're implementing is now starting to service multiple stakeholders in the area, not just people looking for a 5x5 or 10x10. So to that point, what have you seen with conversions and people making use out of distressed commercial real estate and turning it into self-storage? Has that come across your desk at all?

Phil: Yeah, so the challenges there, we've had some interesting spaces come up. We are doing a pretty large one in Boise, an infill of a previous newspaper manufacturing facility. I've also had one that involved a ex-racketball court facility, which is kind of interesting. So that's been different. We get a number of big box stores. The things I always caution people on are doing core samples to actually support the steel that's going in there. But there are more infill type questions that we're getting hit with and projects that are getting considered, but they're still being vetted out right now.

James: Oh, absolutely. The due diligence is non-negotiable. So what are your sort of forecasts for the next couple of quarters? Where do you see self-storage demand going? What is the mind of Phil?

Phill: Well, the mind of Phil, that's always an interesting question, but our estimating queue is still close to four weeks. There's been no drop in the demand. We are getting a number of projects revised, which is sometimes pretty normal. But demand's strong, really strong, and it's just a big variety, a lot of types of projects that are hitting us. But it's good demand. Yeah.

James: Well, busy is good. Thank you so much for your time, Phil, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.

Phill: Thanks, James.

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