Stashing our stuff

Dallas-Fort Worth reigns as self-storage capital of the U.S., says study

Dallas-Fort Worth reigns as self-storage capital of the U.S.

Public storage
There's even more storage on the way. Facebook/Public Storage

Dallas-Fort Worth really, really, really loves its stuff. New data from self-storage marketplace StorageCafé shows DFW boasted more self-storage space in 2020 than any other U.S. metro area — even though it’s the fourth largest metro based on population.

StorageCafé tallied more than 65 million square feet of storage space in North Texas in 2020. To put that into perspective, this square footage is equivalent to about 360 typical Walmart supercenters or more than 35,500 typical Michaels arts and crafts stores. That works out to about 8.6 square feet for every man, woman and child in DFW.

In 2020 alone, DFW added about 1.8 million square feet of self-storage space, down from 2.4 million in 2019 and a nation-leading 3.1 million in 2018, according to StorageCafé data released February 15. DFW ranked third, behind New York City and Phoenix, for the amount of new self-storage space completed last year.

Looking at the construction data another way, DFW welcomed 7.3 million square feet of self-storage space over the past three years. That’s equivalent to more than 2,800 newly built homes in DFW.

But wait — more space is on the way.

StorageCafé predicts DFW will add 2.6 million square feet of self-storage space this year, with only New York City expected to add more (4.4 million square feet).

Why are consumers in DFW and elsewhere so enamored with self-storage?

“Demand tends to be driven by death, divorce, downsizing and the like. A cultural aversion to parting with possessions has also helped storage owners thrive,” the Wall Street Journal observed in 2018.

As for self-storage developers, you can’t blame them for chasing prospective new customers. DFW gained nearly 1.35 million residents from 2010 through 2019, with a surge of almost 1.4 million residents expected from 2020 through 2029.