Self-Storage Operator Adds to Portfolio

StorageMart has acquired self-storage facilities in three states, adding 57,381 square feet of storage space and 2,690 units to the company’s portfolio.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

01_exterior_frontStorageMart has acquired self-storage facilities in Ankeny, Iowa; Blue Springs, Mo.; and Omaha, Neb., adding 57,381 square feet of storage space and 2,690 units to the company’s portfolio.

“We are seeing very few deals in these markets, and most of the opportunities are being generated by buy-side reps dialing for dollars,” Mike Burnam, StorageMart’s CEO, told Commercial Property Executive. “StorageMart is the largest player in the Des Moines and Kansas City markets and any time one can enlarge that presence and pick up additional synergies of operations, we have found that to be a good thing.”

Overall, StorageMart now operates 18 stores in the Des Moines, Iowa, storage market, 37 in greater Kansas City, Mo., and four in Omaha.

“Our strategy is very long-term and has always been to enter a market with the opportunity to expand our presence through acquisitions and development,” Burnam said. “Self storage is a fixed-cost business, and anything you can do to reduce those fixed expenses appeals to us. We would never go into a market with a single facility unless there was a reasonable assumption that presence could be grown to a minimum of 7-10 stores in the next 2-3 years.”

The Omaha property, located at 9815 Redick Ave., consists of seven buildings and 401 storage units. It marks the company’s fifth property with more than 550,000 square feet of gross rentable space.

“We have targeted the Omaha/Lincoln metro areas as the next market in which we would like to expand our presence and attempt to gain a foothold that can be grown over the next 20 years,” Burnam said. “Self storage is a retail business, and if a self storage facility does not have that retail curb appeal and location, it is not something we choose to purchase. If you cannot smell McDonald’s or see a Walmart from the front door of the storage facility, it is not for us.”

According to Burnam, StorageMart will upgrade all of its new properties so they are consistent with its brand.

Recent StorageMart data show that self-storage is currently used by approximately 10 percent of all households in the U.S. and the penetration will continue increasing as developers and owners realize the approach needed for a successful self storage facility.

The company in total operates 165 facilities in Canada and the United States.