Neighborhood street in Arizona

28 Apr Power Ranch Neighborhood in Gilbert, AZ Needs More Self Storage

By Alex Hassel, Storage.com

Just a 30-minute drive southeast of Phoenix, the population of Gilbert, Ariz., is snowballing. In fact, it’s been snowballing for decades. According to Gilbert’s website, the city was home to 5,717 people in 1980. By 2015, the population had risen to an estimated 242,955. Realtor.com even rated Gilbert’s Power Ranch area as the fastest-growing neighborhood in the U.S. in April 2016 with a projected household growth of 15.9%.

“Gilbert has a lot to offer,” says Kathy Tilque, President and CEO of Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. “People can live here and still be connected to Phoenix. There’s a high median income of $84,000 a year, but housing is also very affordable. Our downtown area has also recently developed a neat vibe. The downtown area is really blowing up.”

Tilque adds that Power Ranch is growing for its own particular reasons. “It has set a standard for master plan communities. They’ve donated land for schools, so that’s attractive to people. They’re also green and connected. There are more than 26 miles of trails for walking and running, playgrounds, and other recreational areas and pools. It’s also very beautiful. The neighborhood association is very landscape and structure-driven. It’s a very family-oriented community.”

Gilbert’s population roughly doubles every five years. Tilque believes the momentum will finally slow once the town reaches its border—although, she says that could take another 15 years. New homes keep popping up, too. Tilque adds that, in 2014, the city gave out 1,435 single-family building permits. In 2015, that number rose to 1,810.

Craig Rafferty, an agent with RE/MAX Alliance Group, says the housing supply can’t keep up. “There’s tons of construction here,” he says. “But they can’t build them fast enough. The market is doing really well here. Inventory is really low, and there’s more buyers than we have homes to buy.”

Power Ranch’s housing market is similar to the rest of Gilbert, according to Rafferty. Buyers range from new families, established families, and even snowbirds. There are apartments and condos, but the vast majority of land in Power Ranch is taken by single-family homes.

“The valley has really grown. It’s crazy. It’s amazing to see the housing rebound. People who had been foreclosed on back in the housing bubble are even buying again,” Rafferty explains.

With low housing inventory on top of the rapid population growth in Gilbert, self storage would be a viable option for those struggling to find a permanent home in the area. However, most storage facilities in Power Ranch are near 100% occupancy.

Greg Sherwood, owner of Power Ranch RV, Boat, & Mini Storage off East Germann Road, where snowbirds make up 40% of the rentals, says his facility is full. “We haven’t had sizable vacancies for two years. We do have a few. Out of 475 units, we have less than ten at any time for the last two years.”

Other facilities around the neighborhood have high occupancy rates as well. Uncle Bob’s Self Storage on Power Road is at 91% capacity, and Public Storage also on Power Road is at 83% capacity.

Sherwood says there’s a need for more self storage space around Power Ranch.

“The right type of storage facility could do well,” he explains. “This is a highly developed community, so boat and vehicle storage would do really well. People are constantly coming to us looking for vehicle storage space, and we just don’t have it. We actually have a housing development across the street where homeowners are even building garages onto their homes for their RVs because there’s nowhere else to put them. They’re paying $50,000 to $70,000 to build an RV garage.”

With Power Ranch’s storage facilities currently at capacity—or close to it—and Gilbert’s population doubling every five years, the need for more storage solutions in this Arizona city is evident.

Alex Hassel is News Reporter for Storage.com. If you’d like to pitch Alex a self storage industry news story, email [email protected] or call 402-779-7328.



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