We hear about “make-overs” all the time in the media, whether it is the latest of episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the Cinderella stories of all those corny rom-coms, or even notifications from your friends dramatic transformations on your Facebook feed. The term makeover is “a complete transformation or remodeling of something, especially a person’s hairstyle, makeup, or clothes” and you can add self-storage facilities to the mix. In the past, these buildings were never described as “sexy” “beautiful” or anything of that matter, but rather thought of as “warehouse” looking eye sores. The self storage facilities of today have top security, much more convenient locations, and are more attractive than ever!
The Beginning of Self Storage:
The concept of storage has been around of years, however it was not until 1964 in Odessa, Texas, where the first self storage facility was founded. Since its beginning, the self storage industry had boomed to become a national phenomenon and has proven to be a very successful industry, guaranteeing Americans a safe and convenient place to store all of their most prized belongings. Since its inception, there have been three different eras of self storage facilities: Generation 1, Generation 2, and Generation 3.
These storage facilities make up the majority of the beginning facilities in the 1960s. They are very basic and consist primarily of garage-style doors and outside units, hence the warehouse comparison. They did provide their customers with the convenience of drive-up access. However, they had only basic security measures due to lack of technology.
Once the demand for self storage increased, the facilities phased into Generation 2, which comprises the majority of self storage units that we are most familiar with. The basic “garage-style” units were then connected to buildings with interior units. These indoor unit allowed for extra precaution when it came to harsher weather conditions. They also upped their security measures and they started offering on-site managers and even live-in managers at select locations.
In most recent years, there has been a more dramatic transformation as these facilities moved into Generation 3. These building are known for their newer technology such as climate controlled units and in-door drive up units, and tighter security measures such as cameras, gates, keypads access, etc. They have also been experiencing a new trend in the construction or renovation of these facilities, which is the “blend in to stand out”
Blend in to Stand Out:
The storage facilities of Gen 1 and 2 were quite the image problem. They took up a lot of space, were bland, and looked like a warehouse fortress; which is mostly attributed to the fact that were originally restricted to industrial zoned areas. Increase in demand has caused consumer expectations of the industry to change as they are demanding better locations, security, and innovative features. The storage facilities of the 21st century are able to enjoy prime locations nestled within retail or residential areas, which have led to the sophistication of their construction. These newer facilities emphasize aesthetics to match the communities that they serve, hence blend in to stand out. Some of the other trends include multi-story buildings, vibrant colors, lush landscaping, unique architecture, and niche storage options for boat, RV, and wine.
Benefits of Generation 3 Facilities:
Not only do these new buildings help with the aesthetics of the community, they benefit you, the consumer, as well! These are important features that you are typically looking for when searching for the perfect storage facility. Rest assured that these generation 3 buildings are going to have everything you want to keep your items safe such as climate controlled units for your electronics and sensitive items, top-notch security, and convenient locations. The main goal is to create a stable, secure, upscale environment that you can trust!
Here at U-Stor-It, all of our facilities are Generation 3 buildings which come with all the perks! Our Carol Stream and Streamwood locations especially go along with the trend “blend in to stand out”. They are beautifully designed to match the community that they serve. U-Stor-It in Carol Stream looks like an office complex and Streamwood has the beautiful brick architecture similar to the rest of the town. We also have a new location opening up, U-Stor-It of South Loop which is our first storage facility located in the heart of Chicago. It also offers wine storage options. This location will be opening up this winter so go check it out and the rest of our locations.