New York Joins Other Cities Hoping to Limit Self-Storage Facilities

Self-storage buildings are multiplying across New York City, where local officials would prefer to protect and grow the city's base of manufacturing and industrial jobs.
April 16, 2017, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Sherry Yates Young

Winnie Hu reports on a proposed land use regulation in New York City that would  require a special permit for self-storage sites. "The permit proposal requires the approval of the City Planning Commission and the City Council," according to Hu, and if approved, the review process is expected to take about two years to complete.

According to Hu, the city hopes that by limiting the development of self-storage sites, more land will be saved for manufacturing and industry.

Hu's focus on New York's proposed regulatory change, however, comes against the backdrop of the skyrocketing growth of the self-storage industry around the country. New York City's self-storage facilities lag the rest of the country. New York has 240 self-storage buildings, including about 60 that have opened in the last decade writes Hu. That amounts to "an average of 3.5 square feet per person compared with 7.2 nationally."

Other cities have taken an aggressive approach to limit self-storage facilities, according to Hu. "Miami clamped down on new self-storage buildings after they popped up on main commercial corridors, taking space away from restaurants, stores and gyms," and "Charleston, S.C., tightened its oversight of self-storage developments after half-a-dozen new ones were proposed in the past year."

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Published on Thursday, April 13, 2017 in The New York Times
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