There has been a surge of popularity in creative uses of a self storage unit in the past few years. Using a self storage unit only for extra belongings such as furniture, clothing or collectives has begun to change. As retail rental prices have climbed, the new small business owner is looking for other solutions to house their businesses and inventory. In the expanding self storage market in China, entrepreneurs are setting up their businesses out of storage units. It is low-cost, low overhead and a perfect place to store inventory. The business owner just needs to let people know where his storage unit is located in order to make a purchase or the business owner can package and ship goods out of their storage unit. There was a recent article that even talks about dance studios and bicycle shops being created out of a self storage unit!
There are so many alternative uses for self storage units that are becoming more and more popular. Bands are using self storage for practice studios at some facilities. There are also other storage facilities that are catering to artists. Some self storage owners are converting and upgrading some of their storage units to accommodate musicians and other artists. This would include installing electricity, insulation, sky lights and glass doors, and in some cases plumbing and running water. Bridge Storage and Art Space in Richmond, California have created an artist community at their storage facility. They have monthly artist shows in a specially created gallery space as well as community meetings with their tenants. It does take some planning, remodeling and investigating of local regulations and utility codes if you are interested in converting the storage units into artist spaces. It is also important to be in a thriving artist area.
Why would converting a storage unit into an art studio be a good solution for an artist? A storage unit can be a quiet and solitary place to work. The units that are being rented around you might be long-term rentals. This means that as an artist, you might not be disturbed for long stretches of time. On the other hand, you could acquire a lot of inspiration from the other renters of a busy storage facility. Renting a storage unit is affordable and there usually are not long-term commitment contracts. The storage unit is also a very secure and safe spot to store your artwork. In warmer climates this is a great spot to work year round. Based on the type of artwork that is created, it might be a better idea to look for climate controlled units to store your artwork.
With nearly 45,000 storage facilities in the United States and the higher cost of renting retail space, the traditional model of a self storage unit is beginning to change. The facilities are adapting and changing to fill a need in their community and that need has changed from storing extra goods to focusing on business storage or alternative uses for the storage unit.