There's a storage war afoot in the Kanawha Valley - a war to keep up with demand, that is.
Contractors are busy at several sites constructing new storage units that will be rented out.
Initial work is under way at two sites in South Charleston, one at the former Rock Lake Putt-Putt course parking lot and the other along Second Avenue near the Microtel Inn & Suites.
When completed, they will be the city's fourth and fifth storage unit businesses, and the first to offer climate-controlled storage.
Bob Anderson, executive director of South Charleston's Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he's been surprised at how demand has grown for storage areas inside city limits and how quickly they fill up.
"They're just to capacity - they've got a waiting list for people to rent them," Anderson said. "There's just a lot of needs out there for more storage places."
Appalachian Mini-Storage owner Mark Perine is one of those hoping to fill that need.
Perine plans to build three climate-controlled storage unit buildings at the Rock Lake property.
He already owns non-climate controlled units in Mink Shoals and Charleston. In addition to the Rock Lake site, he's building a climate-controlled unit in Cross Lanes and is in negotiations to build a third climate-controlled storage area at a third site in the valley later this year.
"I'm more than doubling this year the size of my business," Perine said.
While storage units have peppered the valley for sometime, Perine said local consumers are shifting away from traditional units in favor of climate-controlled facilities.
He said residents who use the units to store furniture and family memorabilia, along with businesses and agencies that need to store legal documents or medical files, require more than just a garage site in an outdoor metal building.
"A lot of people who have put their stuff in traditional storage have come back several years later to find their stuff bug-infected, molded, mice got into them, or found their stuff was ruined because of the humidity and temperatures," Perine said.
Climate-controlled units, on the other hand, offer storage inside larger metal buildings that have year-round temperature and humidity controls.
"The climate controlled is more of the Cadillac of the storage as opposed to the other type," Perine said. "Plus, the climate-controlled is easier to maintain because you don't have all that worry for pests and things of that nature."
Jon Burdette, owner of Burdette Reality Improvement Inc. in Charleston, also talked of the shift to climate-controlled storage