Storage unit facilities fill up around Wilmington as city grows

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - As more people move to the area, an often overlooked business is getting a boost. Owners and managers at several storage facilities said they have had to put customers on wait lists this year, and are reporting an overall increase in business.

Wilmington City Council voted Tuesday night to rezone property on Carolina Beach Road for a storage unit facility. Bruce Johnson is a site manager at A1 Storage nearby, but said he doesn't mind seeing more competition.

Johnson said the facility used to be around 80 percent full, but started filling up in January. Customers tell him there seems to be less storage space in newer apartments, or that they are downsizing their home.

"I didn't have anything to rent. I was completely full, and I've stayed in that 93 percent to 94 percent range," Johnson said. "It's pretty much as soon as something becomes available, there's someone waiting for it."

Erik Hemingway owns City Storage in downtown Wilmington, and said business has been steady since it opened in March.

"The demand was pent up because there was not a lot of development for quite a while," he said. "I know there's a lot of storage projects in the works now, but that's just really meeting the demand that's already been there. The supply is finally catching up, so we're excited about the future."

Hemingway said City Storage plans to expand as demand grows.

According to a New Hanover County spokesperson, county leaders approved rezoning requests for seven storage units in the last two years.

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