The self-storage business is booming, here in Allen County and around the U.S.

Last week, WANE 15 brought you the proposal to build up to 140 luxury toy garages off Lima Road in Huntertown.

This week, there’s a proposal to build seven self-storage buildings on 9.5 acres at 14431 Illinois Road, for a total of 127,000 square feet of storage. The site is already zoned for commercial use, according to the Allen County planning department. It sits west of West Hamilton Road South and South Noyer Road, according to Google Maps.

Calls to the developer, Brian Fleming, weren’t successful. Fleming is also the developer of a self-storage site at the corner of Coldwater and Till roads on the city’s north side. That site will offer 92,000 square feet of climate-controlled storage in a 40-foot tall, one story building on nearly 4 acres, planners said.

The planning department doesn’t keep track of the number of self-storage businesses, but a planner said the department gets a lot of calls, including from outside developers, showing interest in constructing them here.

They’re apparently profitable and inexpensive to build.

They’re also becoming more common, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A story published in February said 38% of Americans say they use self-storage. While millennials are showing more interest, it’s the Gen Xers and baby boomers who use the services the most.

The NAR cited a study reporting 42% of self-storage clients had homes between 1,500 to 2,499 square feet, and the same percentage had homes between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet.

One-third of Americans use self-storage to store furniture, but also clothing, home appliances, sporting items, hobby gear and business items, the article stated. The most popular storage size unit is 10 feet by 10 feet. The second most popular is 5 feet by 10 feet.

The industry experienced increased growth because of the pandemic as units allowed people to reorganize their living space for extra room to work from home. People also use them when they move or move in with family members, the article states.