Business: Demand for storage spurs 50 percent expansion by local firm

Sean C. Morgan

By Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

In response to demand for more storage units, the Storage Depot has added about 50 percent more units to its complex at 4199 Hwy 20.

Manager Mike Klassen said the business finished opening two new buildings in early February. While he could not say how many units are available at the Sweet Home location, he said it is in the range of 800 to 1,000.

Storage Depot provides space for traditional storage as well as large vehicles, like RVs.

“We didn’t raise our prices last year,” Klassen said. “They’re set to the same prices we were charging in 2017. We’re one of the few that doesn’t charge a deposit.”

The business also does not run background checks, he said, but “it’s a high-security facility. It’s all concrete and steel and block.”

And it includes three heated buildings, he said.

Prior to the beginning of construction last year, Klassen said, “I was getting a lot of calls. I had lots of people on the waiting list.”

The Sweet Home facility opened in 2009 and added a new building in 2012, said Klassen, who has managed the site for seven years.

Prior to opening the new buildings, the facility was full for about 4½ years, he said. That’s the same at the other locations, which is up to eight now.

With the additional storage units and the construction of other facilities, Klassen said, a lot fewer people are waiting to get into storage units. At this point, about half of the new units are full.

“Now we’re getting to the point where we’ve had to put our marking caps back on,” Klassen said. The business is offering three months for the price of two for 10×10 units as a result.

The stories behind the customers vary widely.

“Usually, when people come to get storage, they’re in a transition,” Klassen said. Many families are living together now.

“I have customers tell me we’re their garage,” he said. They may store garden tools or even cars and trucks. RV storage is constantly full, he said.

Over the past 10 years, the typical customer has shifted from using the service for a few months to long-term storage, Klassen said. “I think the economy’s changed things.”