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Hixson's new CubeSmart part of record-setting year for self-storage facility construction

CubeSmart, a new self-storage facility in Hixson, came in handy for Jake Hindman.

Hindman needed a place to stash some stuff while he lives with family in Jasper, Tenn., until his new Hixson apartment is ready for move-in.

So he stows the excess baggage in a small, indoor storage unit at the new CubeSmart facility at 5056 New Country Drive near Hamill Road and Highway 153.

"I like it," said Hindman, who has never rented a self-storage space before. "It's secure. It's very clean. Everyone's been super-friendly."

The Hixson CubeSmart, built by Spartanburg, S.C.-based Johnson Development Associates, is one of about 900 new self-storage facilities constructed around the nation in 2017, a 50 percent increase from the 600 projects a year earlier, according to BBG, a Dallas-based commercial real estate valuation, advisory and assessment firm.

During the first eight months of 2017, spending to build U.S. self-storage units hit a record $2.27 billion — more than the $1.9 billion spent in all of 2016 and a 90 percent increase year-over-year, according to Inside Self-Storage.

"The surge in construction of self-storage facilities across the country has been one of the biggest growth areas in the commercial real estate market in 2017," BBG CEO Chris Roach said in a statement. "We anticipate that this sector will continue to show solid growth this year."

The industry seeks to be more appealing, BBG says, through new designs and other features, such as climate-controlled units and locations near shopping areas and multi-family neighborhoods.

The Hixson CubeSmart is the 21st storage facility opened under either the CubeSmart or Extra Space Self Storage brand by Johnson Development, a real estate developer of commercial and apartment projects across the country.

"We're excited about the growth in the Chattanooga market and we saw a demand for more self storage," said Henry Grimball, operations manager of the Johnson's self-storage division.

The Hixson store includes a three-story, climate-controlled indoor storage facility equipped with elevators, a fire sprinkler system and it's built almost entirely of fire-resistant materials: concrete, aluminum and steel.

Businesses favor climate-controlled storage for a number of reasons, including to store excess inventory, keep electronic equipment away from the elements — even to store office furniture during remodeling, said Bob Burch, general manager of the Hixson CubeSmart.

"It's just whatever the need is," Burch said.

The $5.5 million Hixson CubeSmart also offers 24-hour video camera surveillance and space set aside to store boats and recreational vehicles.

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