LONDONDERRY — A new Bluebird Self Storage facility is poised to open this weekend off Exit 5 of Interstate 93 in Londonderry, representing a ongoing push by the company to set up in high-visibility areas across southern New Hampshire.
Bluebird managing director Bill Goodison said Londonderry is its sixth location to open in the southern New Hampshire area. Close by are facilities in Manchester, Hooksett and Bedford, in addition to Greenland and Rochester.
A seventh facility in Epping is due to open in May, Goodison said, and they just closed on property in Scarborough, Maine, for a future facility to be developed.
Goodison said the company is competing by offering fully climate-controlled facilities (which means heating, cooling and dehumidifying), year-long locked rates and free pickup and delivery to Bluebird facilities.
Rates are guaranteed for 365 days and will not increase by more than 10 percent after that, and will again remain unchanged for another 365 days, Goodison said. Delivery trucks can fit enough to place into a typical 10-by-10-foot space and make three trips per day.
Goodison said the rates in Londonderry will start at $49 per month for a 5-by-5-foot space to $299 for a 10-by-30-foot space.
They are also selecting locations based on high visibility.
“That’s what we look for. You’ll never see a Bluebird in a warehouse district or an industrial park,” Goodison said.
He said it cost more than $5 million to build the Londonderry facility, which included about $200,000 for exterior brickwork requested by the town’s heritage commission.
There are 658 units in the 106,000-square-foot, three-story building. Three of the entrances will have large overhead canopies to protect items from weather conditions.
Bluebird has about 30 employees company-wide so far, Goodison said, and they’re looking to hire a few more full-time and part-time workers for the southern New Hampshire area.
Joe Mendola, a senior vice president of NAI Norwood Group in Bedford, said New Hampshire’s aging population may boost the self-storage market as it gets a lot of business from temporary storage following deaths or relocations. But he expects a drop-off in demand in the next few years as millennials in their early 30s begin to earn higher incomes and transition from small apartments into starter homes.
“Self storage relies on significant change going on in people’s lives,” Mendola said.
Right now, he said the occupancy levels are 92 to 100 percent in southern New Hampshire self-storage facilities, which is what’s driving the new development. Some of that demand is coming from millennials who he said are living in smaller apartments with little space for storage. But after millennials start to grow into bigger living spaces, he expects it will return to about 85 to 88 percent.
Nationwide, 9 percent of the population are self-storage customers, Mendola said.
Goodison said they will host a grand opening ceremony in Londonderry later in the spring.