The self storage industry has remained relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, because it addresses an urgent need of consumers — from families who suddenly needed more space in their homes, to businesses that have had to re-organize and put equipment in storage.

People living in big metros, like New York City, where living space is at a premium, can reap serious benefits from self storage. Let’s take a look at the local NYC self storage market data in Yardi Matrix, both at a city and borough level, to see how the sector is doing right now.

New Yorkers have 2.4 square feet of storage space per capita, way below the national average

New York City has a total inventory of over 20 million square feet of rentable self storage space, distributed between 253 facilities. New Yorkers have a low per capita inventory, of just 2.4 square feet of space — that’s less than half the national benchmark of 7 square feet per capita.  Thus, a 10×10 non-climate-controlled (CC) self storage unit in NYC goes for $225 per month, well above the national average of $112.

There’s a bit of good news for New Yorkers, though – even if self storage street rates in the city are higher than average, they’re currently on a descending trend, dropping by 7% year-over-year this June.

New construction is picking up pace in the city

Another piece of good news is that more self storage space is being added to New York City’s inventory. There are 20 properties under construction right now, totaling 1.4 million square feet of storage. Another 23 properties, featuring 2.3 million square feet of rentable space, are in the works.

In 2019, a total of 1.56 million square feet of storage space was added to the city’s inventory – that’s roughly the size of Yankee Stadium. Last year’s addition of space was significantly higher than in 2018, when 949,000 square feet of self storage were delivered. It’s plain to see that self storage construction is on an upward trend in NYC.

Brooklyn has the most self storage space among the city’s boroughs

Out of NYC’s 253 self storage properties, 78 are located in Brooklyn. With a total of 5.86 million square feet, Brooklyn has the most space of the city’s many boroughs. And they’re expanding — last year alone, Brooklyn saw the delivery of 7 properties that added 551,000 square feet of new storage space to the total inventory.

Another 10 properties with 615,000 square feet of rentable space are already under construction, while five properties totaling 558,000 square feet are in the planning stages.

The average rent for a 10×10, non-CC self storage unit in Brooklyn was $248 this June, representing an almost 7% drop year-over-year. However, June also brought a slight month-over-month recovery, from $246 in May to $248.

Manhattan street rates follow an upward trend

The average monthly rate for a self storage unit in Manhattan stood at $375 this June, a noteworthy 7% increase year-over-year. One of the reasons for these high rates, besides Manhattan being Manhattan, is the slower addition of new storage space. Last year, just one property — with 44,000 square feet of rentable space — was added to Manhattan’s self storage inventory, taking it to a total of 3.87 million square feet.

However, self storage construction in Manhattan is picking up steam this year. Right now, there are three properties under construction, which will add more than 180,000 square feet of space. Another three properties, totaling 230,000 square feet of space, are being planned.

The Bronx and Queens, on the other hand, see lowering rates

Residents of the Bronx are among the luckiest New Yorkers in terms of self storage, as the street rates in the area dropped more than 13% year-over-year. Plus there are plenty of choices in both new and existing facilities. Renting a 10×10, non-CC self storage unit in Bronx is about  $171 per month.

The borough has 56 self storage facilities, containing almost 4.6 million square feet of space. Of those, three properties with 257,000 square feet of storage space were added in the last year.

But self storage in the Bronx isn’t expanding quickly right now. There’s just one property under construction, which will bring an additional 38,000 square feet of storage space. Two more properties, totaling 131,000 square feet, are in the planning stages.

Queen’s street rates are on a descending trend, although a less steep one than in the Bronx. A self storage unit in Queens rents for $220, a drop of almost 5% year-over-year. Queens has an inventory of 63 properties totaling 4.77 million square feet of self storage space.

A good amount of new storage space is in the works in Queens. Four properties, with a total of over 435,000 square feet of rentable storage space, are under construction. Another eight properties, totaling almost 790,000 square feet of space, are planned.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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