Self Storage Units - Free land

6 Replies

Hello BP members, my father owns a retail space (strip mall) in Deforest, WI and there is a decent amount of un-utilized land behind said units.  I'm trying to convince him to build out some units there but he is a little tight on cash flow and what not.  

The usable land is approximately 190ft x 45ft, or 8550 sqft.

Am I crazy or should he build on this land?  I honestly dont care if he builds 2 units or 12 units, but I think he shouldn't let this real estate sit and do nothing.  

Maybe you can bring in some of those shipping container storage units. Then you don’t have the actually build anything. I think you can even lease them.

I like the way your mind works.  You aren't crazy.  That said, there's much more to it than just throwing up some units and hoping that they rent.  If you build typical units, your 8000 square feet will cost close to $250,000 so having them sit empty would be pretty bad.  The "portable" or Micro units that Trachte makes would likely get you past any setback issues but they will cost a bit more...probably $300,000 for the same square footage. Of course, you can "test" the idea by building say 4000 square feet at first but even then you are talking about a considerable investment.  How is the market for storage within 3 miles or so of this location?  You need to look at supply and demand based on that specific market.  You can take a look at my humble blog here on BP for a primer on storage. Its called "All Things Self Storage" and I am happy to connect privately if you want to discuss more.

All the best,


You are close enough to Madison (a nearly over-saturated self-storage market) that it could go either way. I suggest doing some market research and calling around to check out rental rates and vacancy rates for different sized units. Utilizing the space as boat & ATV storage could be lucrative in that area.

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