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Self Storage Giant

Public Storage, founded in 1972, is a leading self-storage company with operations primarily in the U.S. and parts of Europe. The firm specializes in providing storage spaces for personal and business use, ranging from small units for household items to larger spaces for vehicles and commercial goods. As a Real Estate Investment Trust, Public Storage has grown its portfolio to include thousands of facilities. This expansive network, along with its emphasis on security and convenience, has made it a trusted name in the storage industry.

The History

In the early 1970s, B. Wayne Hughes, a real estate developer from Southern California, recognized the potential of the self-storage industry during a visit to Texas. Witnessing the success of mini-storage facilities near Dallas and Houston, Hughes was inspired to introduce the concept in California. Collaborating with Kenneth Volk, the duo founded Public Storage in August 1972, initially naming it "Private Storage Spaces Inc." with a modest $50,000 investment. Their first facility was erected in El Cajon, California, that same year. Due to confusion over its name suggesting exclusivity, it was soon rebranded to "Public Storage", aligning with its "PS" acronym. While the founders initially viewed the venture as a short-term income stream, it evolved into a major self-storage enterprise.

The Locations and Storage Offerings

The Company provides a variety of storage units that cater to both personal and business requirements. These range from basic units to climate-controlled spaces designed for items that need to be protected against heat and cold. The company also offers specialized storage for vehicles, such as cars, boats, and RVs. For businesses, there are tailored options for storing inventory and documents. To access one’s unit customers have access to a mobile app that makes opening and closing gates and locks convenient, and customers can also use it to pay their bills.

Operating as a REIT

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a company that owns, operates, or finances income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors. Designed to provide investors with regular income streams, capital appreciation, and tax benefits, REITs offer shares to the public, which can be traded on major stock exchanges. By law, they must distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Public Storage operates as a REIT, which is nothing unique for this type of business. Other large self-storage operators like Extra Space Storage, CubeSmart, and Life Storage, as well as a number of others, also operate as REITs.