A South Carolina firm wants to convert land between Oveido and Winter Park into a three-story, 100,000-square-foot self storage facility.
Johnson Development Associates of Spartanburg, S.C., held a pre-application meeting with Seminole County planners to amend a Planned Development agreement on a 1.7-acre parcel located on the north side of West S.R. 426, between Mystic Lake Drive and the northbound entrance to S.R. 417.
The current agreement, signed in 2003, does allow for a self storage facility. However, it limits the building height to one-story. Seminole County advised Johnson Development that its request would require a major amendment to the agreement, and could take up to four months to complete the necessary public hearings before Planning and Zoning Board, and the Board of County Commissioners.
Interplan LLC of Orlando is providing engineering and planning services. A representative from Johnson Development did not respond to a request for comment on the project.
Self Storage units continue to be a growing development trend in Central Florida and the U.S. Since 1995 the amount of self storage space has grown from 3.31 square feet per American to 7.25 square feet in 2015, according to the Self Storage Association (SSA), an industry trade group.
That growth, coupled with low vacancy rates, rising rents, and no national market leader to squash those want to jump into the self storage business, make the sector attractive for developers like Johnson Development. In addition to its Seminole County proposal, Johnson Development has six self storage projects in various stages of development in Tampa, North Carolina and South Carolina, according to the company's website.
National real estate firm Marcus & Millichap projects vacancy rates will drop to 12 percent in 2016 for self storage facilities in the Orlando area, which is slightly higher than the national average of 10.8 percent,
In addition, the firm projects a 5 percent rental rate gain this year, after strong increases in 2015. For climate-controlled self storage, Marcus & Millichap expects the rate to increase from $1.29 per square foot to $1.35, while non-climate controlled facilities will climb from $1.02 per square foot to $1.07.
As far as competition, the six largest companies in the sector – Public Storage, Extra Space, National Storage Affiliates Trust, Sovran (Uncle Bob's now known as Life Storage), CubeSmart and U-Haul – control less than 15 percent of the market, according to the SSA. In fact, of the nation's 48,500 self storage facilities more than 53 percent of them (26,000) are owned by companies that operate just one facility.