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The Emerging Popularity of Luxury Storage Units

August 6, 2021

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Luxury storage units filled with classic and luxury cars

The Collector Car Vault

Luxury storage units offering options for everything from storing treasures including rare vehicles and works of art, to creating extra entertainment spaces away from home are popping up across the country. And we’re not talking traditional industrial park-style storage unit facilities. Rather, basic storage units are being replaced by customized spaces.

READ: Today’s Top Luxury Real Estate Trends

Some of these customized spaces are perfect for entertaining, with gourmet kitchens, full basketball courts and just about anything else you can think of. Some feature interior design details like reclaimed wood along with stylish entertainment and lounging areas. Others are specifically designed and monitored to keep an individual’s treasures safe. These include state-of-the-art security and temperature control, and are helping create the newest trend in luxury home amenities: off-site storage.

READ: How to Add Value to Your Home

An ever-increasing demand is a fact of the self-storage industry. Until now, supply has kept up with that demand, with occupancy rates typically reaching more than 90% since 2015. By 2019, the self-storage market reached $87.65 billion. By 2025, that valuation is expected to grow to $115.62 billion. This puts the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at 134.79% over the forecast period of 2020-2025.

What is Driving the Luxury Storage Units Industry?

There are several factors that are driving the demand in the self-storage industry in general, including growing urbanization, increased downsizing from the coronavirus, lifestyle changes and more. COVID-19 led the charge creating the current storage unit popularity when multiple business owners closed their brick-and-mortar locations, placing their office equipment in self-storage. Working from home for most of 2020 drove up the demand, too, since homeowners had to make room for their home office.

READ: The Backyard Shed: Your New Home Office?

A new unfortunate change due to COVID is an increase in those people seeking a divorce. The number of people who filed for divorce was 34% higher from March to June in 2020 compared to the same months in 2019. Besides divorce, Covid-19 has greatly increased downsizing and dislocation. Simply put, self-storage acted as a necessary service for people to use as they navigate difficult life transitions. 

Then there’s the increasing rate of urbanization due to the pandemic; another significant factor driving market growth. The increasing urban population means smaller and less expensive living spaces in cities, with more renters on the move, changing addresses frequently.

READ: The Sweet Spot for Luxury Homebuyers: Not Too Big, Not Too Small

But there are other factors besides COVID that make luxury storage units so in-demand. As baby boomers begin to downsize, the need for storage units increases. Additionally, while some believe millennials use less storage than previous generations, new data suggests they continue the demand trend as they hit the typical age to form families and accumulate material possessions.

And as land gets more expensive, investors and builders have become motivated to think of new ways to get a good return on their money. Experts say the rise of luxury storage units is one-way to maximize every square inch of a building. They have become extremely popular in urban areas like New York, where storage units are being transformed into living and entertaining spaces away from home. Hence, the current interest in investing in luxury storage units.

Santa Barbara’s Fine Art Conservation Laboratories

Santa Barbara’s Fine Art Conservation Laboratories

Local Luxury Storage Units
While Santa Barbara residents might not need to rent luxury storage units for entertainment purposes, like someone living in an urban setting would, we still have the need to store some of our rare valuables in a safe, reliable environment. If that’s you, here are some options when it comes to local luxury storage facilities:

Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, FACL Inc.
Why not store your art collection inside a local professional art conservation laboratory? The art trade and respected institutions from across the country utilize Santa Barbara’s Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, pictured above, which specializes in the conservation, preservation, and restoration of paintings on paper, canvas, and murals.

Directors of large and small museums trust the facility. So do art collectors, and those in charge of government collections and corporate collections, along with auction houses, historical societies, and private individuals who have collected rare works over the years or inherited wonderful possessions from the past.

The basic warehouse structure is made of durable steel and concrete. Priceless items are protected inside with high-quality building security that includes immediate response fire and police. The benefits don’t stop there, however.

Benefits of using The Fine Art Conservation Laboratories:

  • Storage in the same building as the art conservation facility.
  • Immediate access/response by veteran professional art conservators and technicians.
  • No public access to storage areas.
  • Double fire suppression system using water sprinklers and halon in a concrete and steel building.
  • Pest control.
  • Mold and odor mitigation.
  • Active low-grade temperature control keeping it between 60 to 75 degrees.
  • Concierge Services.
  • Storage facility located next to UPS Shipping Center and close to FedEx Shipping.
  • Supplemental insurance is available.
  • Wrapping, crating, and shipping service.
  • Pickup and delivery in Southern California, The Central Coast, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Art Installation and de-installation at residence or business.
  • Only fully trained, qualified professionals touch the artwork.
  • Safety From Natural Disasters.

Art Conservator Scott Haskins is a world-renown expert in art preservation and restoration. Due to his deep knowledge on the subject, he is called upon as an expert witness in the Los Angeles Supreme Court system and on behalf of the federal government when it comes to public art issues. He has consulted for a long list of notable organizations, including Pope Paul VI’s family, the Shroud of Turin project, the Historical Dept of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Getty Conservation Institute, the U.S. Government, and many others. He also is a grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a program of the U.S. government.

With those credentials at the helm, you can trust this facility with your rarest piece of art.

Modern luxury car close-up banner background. Concept of expensive, sports auto.

Twenty Four 7 Moving Specialists
The art storage room within the Twenty Four 7 warehouse was specifically built to store the most delicate, priceless works of art. Offering both short- and long-term options, this local art storage room offers museum-quality climate control that monitors the room’s humidity levels, temperature, and light exposure to optimize the longevity of every treasured piece stored there. 

Twenty Four 7 also offers a 20,000 square foot clean, cool, dry and highly secure warehouse specifically created for vehicles. The warehouse is the ideal storage solution for any vehicle: from a collection of classic or luxury cars, to rare and vintage motorcycles that demand the highest security measures possible. Every vehicle stored there is treated with the same care and precision as a priceless work of art.

Located near the 101 freeway and the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, in close proximity to the police and fire departments, this warehouse provides a cool and dry environment, is sheltered from the harmful effects of heat, wildlife, sunlight exposure and humidity, and is safeguarded by sophisticated alarm systems designed to protect against fire and theft. There is also a 24-hour video surveillance system so collectors can rest assured their treasures are safely receiving the care they need.

Collector Car Vault
Speaking of vehicle storage, the Collector Car Vault, pictured at the top of this post, is a secure, spacious, and specialized facility dedicated to classic and exotic automobile storage and management. Ideally located in a naturally stable, low-humidity, car-friendly climate, this facility provides optimal storage conditions for vehicles, both old and new.

Conveniently located within an hour's drive of Santa Barbara, as well as Los Angeles and Malibu, this company goes the extra mile with personalized concierge services designed to fit a customer’s one-of-a-kind vehicle and lifestyle. The company tailor’s individual storage plans developed specifically for each client, including everything from transporting a vehicle, whether running or not, to delivering a classic or luxury car directly to a client’s home or hotel whenever needed.

The Collector Car Vault concierge services include:

  • Washing and detailing
  • Fueling and fluid level checks – 100 octane gasoline available
  • Exercising vehicle
  • Valet pick-up and delivery (within 100 miles)
  • Concours and auction preparation
  • Insurance
  • DMV and titling services
  • Estate planning
  • Consignment services

Conveniently located in neighboring Santa Paula, with a backdrop of palm trees, lemon trees and exotic succulents, the Collector Car Vault is the perfect location to host high-end events, rallies, fund-raisers, and screenings. In particular, those involving automobiles. Plus, the studio space within the facility, and the massive grounds provide the ideal location for both photography and filming needs. 

While many who are lucky enough to call Santa Barbara home can easily accommodate their art and automobile collections at home, some of us still need luxury storage units for our valuables. Whether you’re downsizing and need the facilities mentioned above, or are looking for a larger home for expanding or extended family, art and automobiles, call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at With more than 3 decades of luxury real estate experience in Santa Barbara, Montecito and Hope Ranch, I have my finger on the pulse of the local market.

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch