Self-Storage Deals Keep Coming with New $50M JV

Self-storage may not be as bogged down by the sluggish economy as other sectors, if recent deals are any indication. The latest news is the formation of a $50 million joint venture focused on self-storage started by Carey Storage, an affiliate of investment firm W. P. Carey & Co., and Harbert Management Corp. W. P. Carey contributed $20 million and Harbert contributed the remaining $30 million. The venture was seeded with an existing portfolio made up of 13 properties, which have been acquired by W. P. Carey’s self-storage-focused investment team over the past two years. W. P. Carey currently manages approximately $440 million of self-storage assets, including $60 million owned by the new venture. The self-storage investment team is actively pursuing additional property acquisitions. Among other recent self-storage deals, Strategic Storage Trust Inc. of Ladera Ranch, Calif., finalized a $9.9 million acquisition of three self-storage facilities in busy traffic areas within 15 miles of Downtown Cincinnati. The three Best Self-Storage properties bring an additional 1,295 storage units and 211,000 square feet of leasable space into the portfolio of SSTI, a publicly registered, non-traded REIT. Since October, SSTI has acquired facilities in Biloxi, Miss., Gulf Breeze, Fla., and Manassas, Va. The Carey-Harbert joint venture is W. P. Carey’s first with a sector focus, a company spokesperson stated. “Self-storage is a property sector of particular interest to us. We have been looking for the right team with sufficient management expertise to help us execute a self-storage strategy,” Alan Fuller, vice president & senior managing director at Harbert Management, said in a prepared statement. “By creating a joint venture with W. P. Carey, we gain access to W. P. Carey’s self-storage experience.” Another firm active in the market has been San Diego-based Equity Based Services Inc., which brought its portfolio of self-storage properties to 55 across 10 states, totaling more than $250 million, with the addition of two self-storage facilities in the Houston area. And on June 30, EBS acquired Silo Self Storage at 425 Swiss Avenue in Nashville and on May 22, the firm added to its Self Storage Commercial Property Portfolio with the purchase of Desert Country Club Storage in Palm Desert, Calif. Harbert Management Corp. is an investment management firm managing more than $8.9 billion, as of Jan. 1, of assets and committed capital in 11 alternative asset classes in three areas of concentration: real estate, private capital and absolute return strategies. W. P. Carey & Co. is an investment management company that provides long-term sale-leaseback and build-to-suit financing for companies worldwide and manages a global investment portfolio worth more than $10 billion.