- By Kevin D. Thompson Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Space in South Florida is coveted — that includes roads, real estate and yes, storage facilities.
Mini-storage quietly has evolved from the investment-property family into a legitimate money-maker that’s luring public cash and institutional investors — so much so that overbuilding has become a pressing concern.
“Right now, new construction has less and less closet space,” said Bennie Carmona, the site’s general manager. “It’s a much smaller places to put your stuff and we don’t have any basements.”
CubeSmart opened the site about two months ago and has about 120 customers.
Space sizes range from 4-by-5 feet, which is like a small walk-in closet, to 10-by-25 feet. Cost for the smallest size is $68 a month and $363 for the largest size.
“Right now I have no big spaces available,” Carmona said. “In the storage industry, the bigger the size, the faster they rent. It’s always been like that.”
Carmona has been with CubeSmart for five years and in the storage industry for 18. He said in Florida there are too many people in a transition period in their lives.
“They could be moving,” he said. “We have snowbirds and the condos makes our rentals a little bit slower, but that’s where we take advantage and promote the properties.”
According to the 2018 Self Storage Almanac, CubeSmart is one of the top three owners and operators of self-storage properties in the United States. The industry in the United States consists of approximately 44,000 properties with 2.3 billion rentable square feet, of which the top 10 operators collectively own approximately a 23% market share.
CubeSmart has up to 45 properties in Palm Beach County, Carmona said. Three years ago the company spent $7.3 million on a mini-warehouse in Lake Worth at 1900 6th Avenue South.
The company has dropped at least $67 million on a dozen properties in the county since late 2012.
The site took about 10 months to build and has about 462 units, Carmona said. The additional spaces come once the third floor is complete, he added.
“It’s easy access and it’s pretty convenient to Palm Beach,” said Carmona. “It has the latest security system and we have over 38 cameras, which can be turned into 64.”