Self-storage facilities are springing up in Maine and across the country


Dube Gravel construction crews work at 42 Strawberry Ave. in Lewiston. The new lot will accommodate the new Trachte self-storage units. Ambrose Ward / Sun Diary

The owner and general contractor of a new self-storage business on Strawberry Avenue in Lewiston is riding the wave of unit construction as people who are downsizing or moving are looking for space to store their belongings .

“For me it was all about finding the right property,” said Kevin Bosworth of Cape Elizabeth. “Lewiston was perfect. The city is very development friendly and it was a pleasure to work with them. We did tests and forecasts of the area. It’s quite close to the city center, but it’s also out of the way.”

Another storage facility was approved Monday for lots 6, 9 and 12 on Razel Way near River Road in Lewiston.

According to Dawn LaFlamme, treasurer of the Maine Self-Storage Association, “We started seeing self-storage facilities coming to Maine in the late ’80s, but the industry really took off in the mid-’90s.”

There are more than 200 storage facilities in Maine, covering nearly 4 million square feet, according to That equates to about three square feet of storage for every Maine resident, including children.

In calls to 10 self-storage facilities in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties, only six units were available. Some companies, such as Sabattus Street Self Storage in Lewiston, sent callers to voicemail with a message that they had nothing available. Those with openings said they suspected they would soon be caught.

Survey data collected by storagecafé.com calculates that 45% of Maine residents use self-storage units, which ranks the state ninth in the nation. The average cost of a 10 foot by 10 foot unit, without air conditioning, is between $120 and $130 per month.

Sabattus Street Self Storage in Lewiston has no units available, reflecting growing demand in the area. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“About 15 years ago Maine was told we had more than we needed in terms of storage space,” LaFlamme said. “Now we realize that the demand is higher than the expected statistics. The pandemic has also had such a big impact on the industry, and availability is the toughest in years.

“There’s actually a conference in September to reevaluate the need for self-service storage,” she said. “We continue to run out of available units, and a lot of people are interested in knowing why.”

Not only are units being built in the areas surrounding Lewiston and Auburn, there is a production boom across the country. According to, in 2021 there were over 49,000 self-storage installations in the United States. The site estimates that the industry takes in nearly $40 billion a year.

“The trend is still pretty positive for people investing in their own storage units,” Bosworth said. “Honestly, people just need space, maybe they don’t want to get rid of stuff, but maybe they need to free up some space in their house.”

LaFlamme noted that the self-storage business is driven by seasonal storage for things that take up too much space in the home.

“Usually Christmas decorations that aren’t used in warmer months, and a lot of summer items are left over through the winter,” she said.

According to a 2020 study by the Self-Storage Association, nearly 13.5 million U.S. households rent a storage unit, an increase of 1.6 million since 2017.

Survey data, collected and analyzed by storagecafé.com, showed that approximately 54% of Gen Xers – ages 41 to 56 – rent a storage unit, the age group with the percentage the highest number of storage units used.

The second-largest group are baby boomers — aged 57 to 75 — at 51%, who use units to free up space in their homes while keeping memories of the past, according to the website.

About 40% of millennials — those who reached adulthood at the turn of the 21st century — have their own storage unit, mostly for downsizing.

According to Bosworth, access to self-storage facilities is crucial for ever-changing living conditions.

“Maybe you’re moving, downsizing, or just running out of room for things,” Bosworth said. “Storage units are all life changing.”

Sabattus Street Self Storage units in Lewiston were all rented on Friday, reflecting the growing demand for such space. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Use the form below to reset your password. After you submit your account email, we’ll send you an email with a reset code.

” Previous


Comments are closed.