In another sign of Bend’s growing population, two developers are planning three-story self-storage buildings on the north side of town.

Northwest Self Storage, based in Clackamas, is in preliminary discussions with the city’s Community Development Department about building roughly 58,000 square feet of climate-controlled self storage on the west side of NE Third Street across from Shopko, said Leonard Waggoner, a site consultant for the company. Northwest also hopes to expand its Old Mill Self Storage on SW Industrial Way, he said.

Meanwhile, Seattle investment firm Columbia Pacific Advisors plans to start construction in the third quarter on 107,000 square feet of storage space, also in a three-story building, at 2705 NE Fourth St., near Butler Market Road, according to a spokeswoman. Columbia Pacific’s project will include 820 climate-controlled storage units, spokeswoman Ashley Bach said.

“There’s clearly a need. I expect those projects will do well,” said Scott Cassidy, a Willamette Valley self-storage manager and investor.

Last year, Cassidy received approval to build nearly 150,000 square feet of self-storage at a property on NE Fourth Street, but he put that plan on hold when Columbia Pacific came on the scene.

“We’re going to see the performance of those that go in and go from there,” he said.

Another developer is seeking approval for 11 self-storage buildings at the southeast corner of Cooley Road and N. Highway 97. Property owner Joel Gisler declined to comment on the project, which is under administrative review by the city.

Cassidy said there’s little vacancy in self-storage from Sisters to Bend, which should come as no surprise given Central Oregon’s population growth.

Columbia Pacific is developing an estimated 6,000 self-storage units in the Pacific Northwest and Colorado, Bach said. Northwest, which has 78 properties in Oregon and Washington, is seeing high demand in Central Oregon, but not as much as in the Portland metro area, vice president of operations Nate Schwalbach said. “We’re building what we think the market needs and can absorb,” he said.

Rental rates for self-storage units vary, depending on the location and type, Schwalbach said. Those that are at ground level and most easily accessible by truck tend to command higher rates, he said. As an example, he said a 10-foot-square space with drive-up access at Northwest’s Old Mill location rents for $145 per month.

Rents vary with the season, Schwalbach said, and they can go up without much notice. Schwalbach said some self-storage operators are raising rents on tenants after three or four months.

“That’s not how we go about it,” he said. “It’s typically a year or close to a year after somebody moves in before we’ll even look at raising their rate.”

Based on the prices self-storage developers have paid for land in Bend, commercial real estate broker Brian Fratzke said, it appears they expect to charge higher rents in the future.

Fratzke represented the seller of the 1-acre property on Highway 97, for which Northwest paid more than $1 million in December. That’s also around the time Columbia Pacific’s OR Bend Self Storage LLC bought its 1.7-acre property on NE Fourth Street for about $1.2 million.

—Reporter: 541-617-7860,