Maine Storage Plus on Bucksport Road (above) and on Bangor Road received calls from I-95 as out-of-staters moved to Ellsworth. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY ANNE BERLEANT

Self-storage is a booming business

ELLSWORTH — How many self-storage units does a city need? Apparently the number keeps growing for Ellsworth. The reasons are various and anecdotal but point to a seasonal cycle that leaves a scant number of available units when people want them most.

Storage units seem to be in demand both from people who need them and people who want to develop them. That demand “surely has a relationship to the housing crisis,” City Planner Elena Piekut said.

The Planning Board on June 2 approved the expansion of one facility and approved a preliminary plan for a second.

Located on Hagans Elbow, 1 Stop Self Storage has seven buildings with self-storage units and plans to add six more buildings. Currently it has just six units available. Rocky Pond LLC plans to build XL Space on Bangor Road with 43 self-storage units — a relatively small number when it comes to self-storage.

As of early June, nearly all self-storage units in Ellsworth were taken, owners and front desk managers told The American. Bomarc Self Storage on Bangor Road has about 360 units, owner Rich Trott said. Some are climate-controlled and some are not. But only one, without climate control, is available right now.

“This is our busiest time of year, so we’ve had a decent number of turnovers, but we have a waiting list,” Trott said. “People leave, people come in.  We usually go down the list. A lot of people have found another option because there is a supply in town.”

Trott also owns facilities in Bangor, Brewer and Newburgh and said he monitors the metrics in Ellsworth.

“I think we’re right there,” he said. “We’re meeting our demand but we’re not overly succeeding it. We’re not turning people away day after day. That’s not the reality of it.”

At Maine Storage Plus, with 600 units across two facilities on Bangor Road and Bucksport Road, owner Mark Remick agreed that the demand is seasonal.

“This is something that happens every summer,” he said. “We’ve been at this long enough to understand the seasonal effects and cyclical activity.” Remick said his business didn’t see a jump in demand during the pandemic but did get requests from people moving into the area.

“We were getting calls from people on [Interstate] 95 in a moving truck headed this way,” he said. “For the most part, we were able to accommodate them.”

With more self-storage units on the way, he said, “How much more can our local market bear? I don’t know that. It seems like we’re getting pretty well saturated.”

Over at the Ellsworth Self Storage at the Eagle Lodge motel on High Street there are 96 self-storage units that are all taken, front desk manager Charity Clough said. Like other facilities, she keeps a waiting list.

“As soon as someone vacates, we re-rent it,” she said.

Anne Berleant

Anne Berleant

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Anne Berleant covers news and features in Ellsworth, Mariaville, Otis, Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn. When not reporting, find her hiking local trails, reading or watching professional tennis. Email her at [email protected]

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