Construction crews from Dube Gravel work at 42 Strawberry Ave. in Lewiston. The new lot will welcome the new Trachte self-storage units. Ambrose Ward/Sun Journal

The owner and general contractor of a new self-storage business on Strawberry Avenue in Lewiston is riding the construction wave of such units as people downsizing or moving seek space to store belongings.

“For me, it was all about finding the right property,” Kevin Bosworth of Cape Elizabeth said. “Lewiston was perfect. The city is very pro-development, and it’s been a pleasure working with them. We did some tests and forecasting of the area. It’s close enough to the center of town, but it’s also out of the way too.”

Another storage facility was approved Monday for lots 6, 9 and 12 on Razel Way off River Road in Lewiston.

According to Dawn LaFlamme, treasurer of the Maine Self-Storage Association, “We started to see self-storage facilities coming into Maine in the late ’80s, but the industry really took off in the mid-90s.”

There are over 200 storage facilities in Maine, covering nearly 4 million square feet, according to That equals about three square feet of storage for every resident of Maine, including children.

In calls to 10 self-storage facilities in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties, only six units were available. Some companies, such as Sabattus Street Self Storage in Lewiston, sent callers to voicemail with a message that said they had nothing available. Those who had openings said they suspect they’d be taken soon.


Survey data collected by storagecafé.com calculates that 45% of Maine residents use self-storage units, ranking the state ninth in the country. The average cost for a 10-by-10-foot unit, with no climate control, is between $120 and $130 a month.

Sabattus Street Self Storage in Lewiston has no units available, reflecting the growing demand in the area. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“About 15 years ago, Maine was told that we had more than what we needed in terms of storage space,” LaFlamme said. “Now, we realize that the demand is higher than the predicted statistics. The pandemic had such a big impact on the industry too, and availability is the toughest it’s been in years.

“There is actually a conference in September to reevaluate the need for self-storage,” she said, “We just keep running out of available units, and a lot of people are interested to know why.”

Not only are units being built in areas surrounding Lewiston and Auburn, there is a boom in production across the country. According to, as of 2021, there were over 49,000 self-storage facilities in the United States. The site estimates the industry takes in nearly $40 billion a year.

“The trend is still pretty positive for people’s investment in their own storage units,” Bosworth said. “Honestly, people just need space, they might not want to get rid of stuff, but maybe they need to free up space in their home.”

LaFlamme noted the self-storage business is driven by seasonal storage for things that take up too much space at home.


“Usually Christmas decorations that go unused during the warm months, and a lot of summer items are held over the winter,” she said.

According to a 2020 study by the Self-Storage Association, nearly 13.5 million U.S. households rent a storage unit, an increase of 1.6 million since 2017.

Survey data, collected and analyzed by storagecafé.com showed about 54% of Gen Xers — ages 41 to 56 — rent a storage unit, the age group with the largest percentage of used storage units.

The second largest group is baby boomers — ages 57 to 75 — at 51%, who use units to free up space in their home while also keeping memories from the past, according to the website.

About 40% of millennials — those who reached young adulthood in the early 21st century — have their own storage unit, primarily for downsizing.

According to Bosworth, having access to self-storage facilities is crucial to ever-changing life circumstances.

“Maybe you’re moving, downsizing, or just don’t have room for stuff anymore,” Bosworth said. “Storage units are all about life changes.”


Units at Sabattus Street Self Storage in Lewiston were all rented Friday, reflecting the growing demand for such spaces. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

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