As office space demand remains lower than average, demand for self-storage is growing.
That’s why startup company Stuf launched its services in December of 2020 to address this rising demand. The self-storage provider identifies underused spaces such as vacant offices, empty garages, old storefronts, and transforms them into storage facilities.
The company works with landlords to fill these spaces with automated storage infrastructure, and shares the revenue with them.
“I toured so many of these buildings, and I was always so obsessed with the underutilized spaces—basements, garages, back of house storage areas, weird quirky closets,” said Katharine Lau, founder of Stuf.
According to Lau’s own calculations, underused space in office buildings, retail spaces, and multi-family residences equates to around 100 million square feet across the country.
The pandemic has only amplified these vacancies, with occupancy rates decreasing all across the real estate sector.
However, as people and businesses have moved away or closed their spaces, the need for storage has grown. In fact, the self-storage business is anticipated to grow 8% during the first half of this decade and is expected to be worth $123 billion by 2026.
Stuf has received $1.8 million in seed funding since its launch last winter. At the moment, it operates in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, with plans to open new locations in Chicago, Dallas, and Washington D.C. this year.