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C.O.’s rental squeeze extends to storage units


Finding a place to live in Bend is not easy. One industry is feeling the trickle-down effect of that, as the storage industry is also at 95 percent capacity.

“You know, I pick up the phone and I’m like, ‘I’d like a unit’ — and, ‘No, we’re full,'” Derek Sitter with the Volcanic Theatre Pub said Wednesday. He’s looking for storage to store stage extras and old electronics.

The problem is region-wide: From Bend to Prineville, units are full.

Sitter says in his line of work, he meets people from all over the country who are moving to Bend. He says that many of them don’t have a plan when they get here.

“Either we have too much crap and people move here with too much crap or we have a serious problem,” Sitter said.

Allen Greenfield has rented storage units for 20 years. He admits that could be the case.

“You pull one box out, and you put another three in,” Greenfield said.

While that’s half of it, the housing crunch is also squeezing the storage industry. Finding an empty unit in Central Oregon is nearly impossible because storage is 95 percent full.

Wait lists are 15 pages long at some facilities — and growing.

“Probably six weeks long, and I’m like, ‘What good does that do me?'” Sitter said.

Storage facilities are getting up to 20 calls a day.

Peak demand also means high prices. But for thousands, a place to keep their important belongings — or just stuff they need safe — is worth it.

Three new facilities are being built, but managers say if you want a unit to put your name on the waiting list.

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