Conversions continue to be a fixture in self storage, with Moove In Self Storage just purchasing a vacant 39,876-square-foot facility at 3025 Carlisle Road in Dover Township, Pennsylvania. Construction on the climate-controlled facility is expected to begin in late 2023, with plans to construct an additional 58,000-square-foot two-story building on the two acres of paved parking included in the purchase.
“We are excited to develop a site that has been sitting dormant for several years and turn it into a state-of-the-art self-storage facility,” Brian Davis, vice president of development and construction at Moove In Self Storage, said in a press release.
Moove In Self Storage purchased the property from Lidl U.S. Operations for $2.5 million on April 21, according to county property records. Moove In Self Storage, which opened its first facility in 1998, owns more than 60 self-storage facilities in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts Iowa and Pennsylvania.
Popularity of Self Storage Conversions
The decline in big-box retail has left a lot of vacant buildings behind, similar to the one purchased by Moove In Storage. These empty spaces are often ideal locations for self storage because of their warehouse-like interiors. Unlike new developments, municipalities are often very accepting of conversions as they breathe new life into an otherwise desolate lot that may be devaluing the neighborhood.
Unlike new construction, conversions already provide the shell of a building, simplifying or eliminating a lot of site or foundation work. This often allows for application of a renovation permit rather than the harder-to-get land disturbance and building permit, especially if the conversion is able to maintain the footprint, access points, and site circulation of the property. Additionally, these spaces typically have large, flat, paved parking lots which allow for drive-up storage or covered car, RV, or boat storage if that is part of the facility’s plan.
Finally, the faster completion rate for conversions is also favored by lenders. Not only are conversion costs typically about half the price per square foot as ground-up development, but most lenders realize that the facility will be able to enter the market and break even with less ramp-up time compared to new construction.