Comedian George Carlin got it right—all we want is a little space for our stuff. Ample storage space is a precious commodity, and residents are often left on their own to invent creative ways to store bikes, sports equipment, holiday decorations, office supplies, out-of-season clothing, treasured collectibles and memorabilia and, ultimately, even more varieties of stuff.
"There is a need for more storage space, because property costs are getting so out of control that residents aren't looking to move—instead, they're looking to make do with what they have," says Josh Goldman, president of Bargold Storage Systems in Long Island City.
Though lack of storage space isn't as big a deal in suburban communities as it is in the heart of the cities, providing individual units for any residents' possessions is becoming an increasingly popular amenity among homeowners associations. Extra storage space can also attract buyers, and by charging residents for the use of the units, the amenity can fast become an additional revenue stream for the HOA.
Before investing the time and money, survey your residents to see if they are truly interested.
"In the city, we're in an apartment building as small as nine units and that's okay," says Goldman, "but in New Jersey for example, it wouldn't pay to put in storage units in an association with just nine units—you would probably want a minimum of 20 interested units. It all depends on the amount of units you have in the building. You need to know there is actually demand."