22 Oct Minneapolis Storage Use Grows with Population and Changing Self Storage Industry
The diverse population, established job market, and overall culture of Minneapolis, Minn., continues to appeal to college students, young professionals, and families looking for a change of scenery or new opportunities, as is demonstrated by the population growth figures in the 2012-2013 U.S. Census data.
Matt Loskota, Managing Broker with Edina Realty‘s 50th and France office, feels there are a number of reasons for consistent population growth in Minneapolis. “The first [is] our healthy economy and great companies,” he says. “Professionals are continuously brought to our community by quality businesses, large and small.”
The economy in particular is pulling in college graduates and young professionals looking to settle somewhere with good employment. With Cargill, General Mills, Best Buy, Target, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, United Health, and hundreds of advertising and design firms, there are plenty of jobs for those ready to start their careers. “Our unemployment rate is generally well below the national average,” adds Loskota.
The culture helps, too. The Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), Minneasota Wild (NHL), and Minnesota Vikings (NFL) are all based in the area. Minneapolis even has a solid fine arts scene—as Loskota notes, the area is second only to New York in theatre seats per capita. More importantly, the area offers beautiful outdoor recreation for campers, fishers, boaters, and bikers. “People enjoy the big-city amenities and love our neighborhood feel,” says Loskota.
Minneapolis also has a fairly diverse population, which seems to be a major draw for people moving to the area. “For decades, [we’ve had] a very large Hmong community that continues to grow,” Loskota says. “Recently, other ethnic groups have grown, including Somalis and East Indians. Our Latin population also continues to grow, from the bottom to the top of the economic ladder.”
Above all, though, it’s the loyalty to the area by the people who were raised there. “People who grow up here and leave for college or a job come back,” Loskota explains. “Minneapolis-St. Paul is a great place to raise a family.”
With individuals from all over the world coming to the Minneapolis area in search of a place to call home and others coming back to where they grew up, the population has continued to strengthen in 2014. Interestingly enough, occupancy rates at self storage facilities in Minneapolis seemed to have followed suit.
According to Storage.com data, the 55343 (Hopkins), 55439 (Edina), and 55416 (St. Louis Park) zip codes have seen some of the highest occupancy rates with 98.3 percent or higher since 2011, mirroring the population growth.
It makes sense that storage unit occupancy rates would go up with population growth, as many people moving to the area are transitioning between homes and may need somewhere to store their belongings as they get settled.
Molly Seeley, owner of Cyber Space Storage in Minneapolis, says construction of apartments and condos throughout the city also add to the reasons for self storage use at local facilities.
“[It’s] new apartment and condo development in urban areas coupled with the fact that [people] in their 20s and 30s have baby-boomer parents who are downsizing and no longer have room to store their adult children’s items until they move into homes of their own,” says Seeley.
In this situation, self storage provides relief for people who want to keep their belongings while living in a small apartment or condo in the downtown area without having to take up space in their homes.
Seeley says the self storage industry in Minneapolis has a lot of different amenities and options to offer those looking to reserve a storage unit. “The industry is becoming more and more fragmented with so many different options available to customers looking for storage,” she says. “We like to call Cyber Space Storage the ‘Fourth Generation’ of storage.”
In Seeley’s opinion, the first generation of storage was self storage. Then came climate-controlled storage. Then came portable storage units. Cyber Space Storage, however, is something incredibly new to the area, as well as the industry.
Seeley’s facility not only combines portable storage with climate control, but each tenant is also given a username and password for online access to a photo inventory of everything that’s in their unit, making it easier for them to keep track of everything they’re storing. “When the customer wants access to an item, they simply log into their password-protected account on our website, click the wanted items, and they can be delivered the next day,” she explains.
By securing a reservation at a Minneapolis storage facility, people who are moving to the area or downsizing can ease the stress of having to deal with getting rid of possession or finding space for them. Since storage facilities offer a number of amenities like 24-hour access and alarmed units, consumers using Minneapolis self storage can store their items and leave feeling confident that they’re in good hands.