Nationally, the self storage sector is estimated to add 52.9M rentable square feet to the total national inventory in 2023, according to Yardi Matrix data cited by storage marketplace StorageCafe. This is a 29.1% jump compared to 2022, when about 41M sq. ft. of self storage came online. Amid this unprecedented expansion, demand remains robust, even though it has begun to stabilize after reaching its peak during the pandemic.

Based on self storage construction estimations for 2023, it appears that Sunbelt cities where migration is substantial are also bound to see the highest volumes of self storage construction. Major cities in Florida, Arizona, and Texas grab more than one spot among the most active cities for self storage construction in 2023.

Let’s take a look at the most active cities for projected self storage construction:

1Orlando, FL

With over 700K square feet of self storage scheduled for delivery, Orlando, FL, takes the first spot as 2023’s most active self storage market. This is a construction volume comparable to that of 2019, when over 730K sq. ft. of space were delivered. Demand has been consistently supported by the whopping 12% increase in population in the past five years, based on U.S. Census data. With almost 7 square feet of self storage per capita, Orlando is well-positioned to address the locals’ storage needs. An Orlando storage unit rents for about $116/month.

2Las Vegas, NV

On the opposite coast, Las Vegas, NV, emerges as the second most active city for self storage deliveries for 2023, as over 638K square feet of space are scheduled to come online, the highest construction volume  for the past five years. Only 2020 had comparable deliveries, with about 525K sq. ft. of self storage added to the local pipeline. The city already has a healthy inventory of over 13M square feet, mostly supported by the continued migration to the area. Renting a storage unit in Las Vegas comes down to about $123/month.

3Tucson, AZ

Already home to a solid 6.2M square feet of storage space – or 8.2 sq. ft./capita –, Tucson’s self storage market is about to get bigger. Almost 576K square feet of space are estimated to be added to the local pipeline in 2023, making up 9% of the existing inventory. It costs about $123/month to rent a storage unit in Tucson, below the national average of $127/month.

4Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is also amping up its development activity, with about 500K sq. ft. of self storage space scheduled for delivery in 2023. That’s an outstanding hike from the lower construction levels in 2022, when only 136K sq. ft. of self storage space came online. However, given that the city’s self storage provision is modest – 2.8 sq. ft./capita – it only makes sense to see construction pick up again this year. Rates for a storage unit in Philadelphia hover around $146/month.

5San Antonio, TX

San Antonio has evolved into one of the country's top relocation destinations, which created a context for self storage to thrive alongside other sectors of real estate. The local self storage stock now includes roughly 8.8 sq. ft/capita, with new development holding strong, although below past year levels. The city is set to build over 472K square feet of self storage by the end of 2023. The peak year for new deliveries in the last 5-year cycle was 2018 when close to 744K sq. ft. were delivered.

6Boise, ID

Boise, ID has been on a constant development path across all sectors of real estate, and self storage is no exception. While having a generous self storage provision of 11 sq. ft./capita, Boise continues to see accelerated construction in 2023, with over 425K sq. ft. of space forecasted to be added to the local pipeline. Migration – with Boise gaining about 5% more in local population in the past five years per U.S. Census figures – and a high share of people working from home (12%) are contributing to the increasing demand for the service. A storage unit in Boise costs about $114/month to rent.

7Phoenix, AZ

With about 5 square feet of self storage per local, Phoenix was bound to see more construction activity in 2023 so as to meet demand. About 347K square feet of self storage space are scheduled to be built by the end of the year. The city has experienced constantly high volumes of self storage construction in the past five years, peaking in 2019 when over 800K sq. ft. of self storage came online, followed by 2020 with about 674K sq. ft. of space added to the local inventory. Phoenix has been flying high on the radar of Americans looking for new places to move to, which contributed to the city’s active self storage sector.

8Tallahassee, FL

A second Florida city to pop up on our top 10 list, Tallahassee is also home to an active self storage market, all the while maintaining a high per-capita supply. About 324K sq. ft. of self storage are estimated to be constructed in 2023, a record-high for the past five years. This impressive construction activity comes as a response to the development hiatus from 2022 and the city’s high migration levels. The second-best year for deliveries was 2018, when 142K sq. ft. of self storage came online.

9San Diego, CA

With about 309K sq. ft. of self storage space estimated for construction in 2023, San Diego is also emerging as an active self storage market, eclipsing deliveries recorded in the past five years. Only 2020 comes closest to the expected development level of 2023, as 210K sq. ft. were built at the height of the pandemic. Given that San Diego has only 3.9 sq. ft. of self storage per capita, developers set to capitalize on the growing demand. A San Diego storage unit costs about $187/month to rent, one of the highest rates among the top 10 cities for expected deliveries in 2023.

10Fort Worth, TX

Texas’ Fort Worth is also likely to see intense construction activity, with 2023 development estimated to swell the city’s inventory by over 300K sq. ft. of self storage. Even while having a sizeable total inventory of over 8M sq. ft. of self storage, the continuous construction activity is a testament to the popularity of the service locally. Renting storage in Fort Worth costs $98/month, making this Texan city the only top 10 city for scheduled construction where self storage street rates are below the $100 mark.

Despite demand stabilizing after reaching a peak during the pandemic, the industry continues to thrive, with self storage construction remaining active across the U.S. Construction activity planned for 2023 underscores the sector's commitment to meeting evolving storage needs, which range from the lack of space at home to population migration and work from home trends.

Moreover, businesses are increasingly turning to self-storage as a valuable resource. The self-storage industry is adapting to the changing landscape, ensuring it continues to serve our communities effectively.

About The Author

This report was compiled by 42Floors contributor Mirela Mohan. Mirela is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for Yardi. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle, and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art.