This month, the industry spotlight for news and updates is on Hong Kong, statistics, and new designs. How? Downtown Storage takes a leaf out of the ISS book (Inside Self Storage) and unveils exactly what is up with each sector of this unlikely trio, and why each is important to the industry.
In Hong Kong, storage facility developers are facing a frustrating conundrum. In theory, the extremely high population volume makes a great market for just about anything, including self-storage. Also, with housing figures being arguably the least generous in the world, Hong Kong citizens might benefit from more storage space.
Unfortunately, there is a major issue – the market’s biggest strength is also its downfall. Because there are so many people, land and space costs are astronomical; society does not have patience for large, industrial buildings. They would rather build small, residential spaces. To break through the Hong Kong market, developers have to find a way to get past high rent, and offer accommodations like transportation, weather-appropriate units, and extras. Transportation is key in a city with low car usage. Extras could include shelving, ladders, and packing necessities.
Statistics on rates, rental-demand benchmarks, and regional and national changes in occupancy and activity are now available, and have been circulating. If you are a developer, an owner, or an investor in the storage industry, it may be time to take a look at the most recent statistics, along with other relevant projections.
Design in the self-store industry is constantly evolving. The three newest trends include: a dominant management office, natural light, and covered loading areas. Making sure that the management office is the tallest or most noticeable feature of the storage facility is becoming a necessity. It attracts and assures customers. Facilities are also getting rid of the tint or the brick and implementing huge, clear-glass windows. This not only lets in light, but it is more modern and aesthetically pleasing. Covered loading areas are getting to be more prominent as a result of the customer’s need for convenience.
On another note, developers are also making an effort to apply the most suitable color schemes and building styles for their particular area. This isn’t a new practice, but choices are becoming more liberal – whether that means a bright pink facility in Miami, converted lofts in historic districts, or craftsman style in the mountains. Bold and stylish, self-storage is more than keeping up.