[caption id="attachment_212749" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Storage units have been quietly on the rise across the country for the last decade. Revenue for the storage unit industry was valued at $39.5 billion in 2019. | PHOTO COURTESY OF UNSPLASHED/ADAMWINGER[/caption]
DOVER — An independent self-storage business owner has bought land south of Dover for a potential expansion down the line.Smyrna Self Storage owner George Kays bought the nearly 10 acres of land off U.S. Route 13 for $1.08 million in early June, according to Kent County land records. The vacant lot is 18 miles south of Kays’ sole 250-unit storage facility in the Smyrna Mart shopping center.“It’s a good investment, but there is nothing in stone right now. It’s possible we may expand,” Kays told the Delaware Business Times. “We’re seeing houses get smaller in the last two decades, so there’s a need for storage now.”Kays opened Smyrna Self Storage in 2000, billing it as a family owned and operated company. Kays told DBT the idea came in passing conversation with friends years ago, and it has been a venture poised to explode.The United State’s self-storage industry’s 2019 annual revenue was valued at $39.5 billion, according to IBISWorld’s Storage and Warehouse Leasing Industry Report. From 2010 to 2019, revenue has dramatically increased by roughly 50% and the self-storage market is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector in the nation.In Delaware, there are roughly 55 storage unit businesses spanning from Claymont to Millsboro, and at least regional local chains like DE Storage with at least seven facilities, and Storage Rentals of America with nine locations. Sentinel Self Storage, which is under the Eastern States Group, has the largest presence with 11 locations in the First State. Sentinel has about 10 more facilities in neighboring states like Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.