Tax Revenues

Why is new generation Retail Self Storage valuable on Town tax rolls? 

First, due to a simple shape:  Retail Self Storage buildings can be an efficient square shape, since interior square footage doesn’t require windows (while nice to have for daylight and external aesthetics, storage boxes don’t need a view). 

While old-school self storage is typically long, skinny, rectangular metal buildings, ringed with exterior metal roll-up doors, newer generation designs are folded up into a square footprint, with internal loading and doors, which allow shorter exterior walls, and facades can be more refined and reflective of their surrounding neighborhoods – while generating significant, efficient taxable space inside.

In addition to a square configuration, vertically, Retail Self Storage is able to fit three stories within typical 35’ zoning height limits, where regular retail and office can usually only fit 2 – 2.5 stories.

Lastly, only a minimal amount of parking is needed to serve the built square footage.

With these three factors, Retail Self Storage can fit 2-4 times more space into a building site versus typical retail and office buildings – yet stay consistent with building lengths, height and visual impacts of their surroundings.  (All with a fraction of the noise, traffic, parking, lighting impacts of other uses.) 

As a result, tax revenues with this zoning far exceed normal uses.  Here in Wayland, the value of the completed project on this one site will likely exceed the value of the entire Donelan’s/110 Grill plaza, plus the entire Starbucks plaza, combined.

Let’s Do the Math

First, let’s check out assessed values for newer generation (internal access) Retail Self Storage facilities in nearby towns, then project for Wayland:

Address:                      Built:     Land:        Built SF:            FY24 Value:              $/SF:



560 Boston Post Rd     2021      3.10 ac      112,800            $10,056,200          $89.15


110 Leland St              2019      5.97 ac      76,050          $11.656.100         $153.27


945 Moody St             2010      1.14 ac      120,483          $17,901,400          $148.58

Applying the conservative Sudbury $/SF valuation for an estimated value in Wayland:

193 Commonwealth  TBD        3.0 ac       94,000            $  8,380,100 Est.     $89.15


In comparison, even this conservative projection exceeds the current assessed value of Donelans and Starbucks plazas combined:


35 Main St                 1968         4.89 ac    47,834              $ 6,019,100             Donelans/110 Grill plaza

44 Main St                 1997         0.99 ac    10,160              $ 2,204,500             Starbucks plaza


Total Donelans + Starbucks plazas                    57,994              $ 8,223,600

In sum, Retail Self Storage can generate more value in one efficient acre than typical retail and office do over several acres.  All with the appearance of a traditional retail/office building in scale with the village.

What does this mean in terms of tax revenues?  Retail Self Storage is projected to generate in the range of $120,000 – 165,000 in new tax revenues every year to the Town of Wayland:

 193 Commonwealth Retail Self Storage Retail Self Storage

Tax Revenues:              Vacant Land Projected Value – Low              Projected Value- Medium


Acreage                                 2.92 ac

Built SF                                           0                              94,000 sf   94,000 sf

Assessed Value psf                                                $ 89.15 psf (Sudbury)        $120.00 psf 1

FY24 Assessment:         $ 534,200                    $ 8,380,100 Est                         $ 11,280,000 Est

FY24 tax rate:                  $    15.52                                  

Taxes                                $     8,291                  $    130,059 Est                          $      175,066 Est

Tax Increase                                                        $    121,768 Est                          $      166,775 Est


1 Average between Sudbury and Waltham/Framingham values

Over a 10 year period this equates to $1.2 million to $1.65 million in increased tax revenues to the Town – even before considering the benefits of the Arts Wayland space.

What are alternative revenues to this use? 

193 Commonwealth, with a large portion wetlands not usable, is similar in scale to the CVS site built in 2016 (2 acres) and the Starbucks plaza (0.99 acres), so a similar commercial development could be expected here under existing zoning. Those two projects’ valuations are:

Address:                      Built:     Land:        Built SF:           FY24 Value:                          ________________________________________________________________________________________________           

150 Main St                2016      2.09 ac      12,210              $2,509,100 CVS

44 Main St                  1997      0.99 ac      10,160              $2,204,500      Starbucks plaza


Compared to both of these, the projected value of Retail Self Storage is 3-4x the value of typical development expected under current zoning.

Retail Self Storage is a quiet financial engine, with few impacts.