2011 May prove to be the year the self-storage industry finally breaks out in the world of commercial real estate to become the cash cow insiders have always known it to be. The United States has approximately 44,000 self-storage facilities totaling 1.5 billion square feet with a market value of about $120 billion. Public ownership of self-storage currently hovers around 13 percent, which is higher than that of apartment, office, and warehouse sectors.
Despite the new public entities and large institutional players controlling a bigger part of the market, small owners and operators are still the majority. The largest owner/operator, Public Storage with 90 million sf and 1,480 facilities, controls only about 6 percent of the market. Combined, the top 10 companies only control about 16 percent of the total market. Marc Boorstein of CIRE Magazine points out in this article the companies at the top of the self-storage heap.