CHICAGO—The self-storage industry has had a remarkable run over the past five years. The major REITs, for example, have grown consistently and recorded rising occupancy and rental rates. Furthermore, operators have begun to apply more advanced analytics and learned how to time rental rate increases and retain tenants, among other strategies, giving a big boost to revenue per-square-foot.

But for much of that time, new development was scarce, at least compared to the level of acquisition activity. Things may be changing. Public Storage, the biggest REIT, now has 28 facilities under development and about $240 million in capital deployment, which it may soon increase to between $300 and $350 million.

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