VanWest Expands Self Storage Portfolio

Despite dropping rents throughout the U.S. self storage market, the investment firm has completed two acquisitions in Walkertown and Salisbury, N.C.
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VanWest is continuing its strategy of acquiring underperformers in low-supply markets by buying two self storage assets in North Carolina in the context of declining rent rates across the U.S.

The company purchased All In Self Storage in Walkertown, N.C. and StorMor Self Storage in Salisbury, N.C. for an undisclosed price and from an undisclosed seller.

The larger of the two properties, StorMor, is located at 4185 Statesville Blvd. and was built in 2006. The 49,600-square-foot self-storage facility offers 282 units ranging in size from 10×10 feet to 15×30 feet.

While smaller, All In Self Storage was built in 2017 and offers more storage units. Located at 2875 Rocky Brand Road, All In has 315 storage units ranging between 5×10 feet and 10×30 feet. The 45,575-square-foot facility also recently just opened its boat and RV parking pad.

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VanWest has already rebranded the properties under their ClearHome Self Storage management platform that has locations in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin and North Carolina. The company is planning to put its current practices in place at the new acquisitions to bring in more revenue.

Jacob Vanderslice, a managing partner at VanWest, said the recent purchases are the latest example of the company’s strategy to enter a market by acquiring multiple assets and improve its efficiency by operating the facilities close to each other.

Since launching their VanWest Storage Fund in April, VanWest has added five self storage facilities to the portfolio. Overall, the company and its affiliates have invested in 18 self storage projects totaling more than one million rentable square feet in projects that include ground-up development, adaptive reuse and value-add.

Storage Slowing Down

While consumer demand for self storage still seems to be present, rents have continued their downturn, according to a November Yardi Matrix report.

Self storage rents continued their decline and hit $113 per month for a 10 by 10 feet unit at the end of October, representing a $2 difference from the previous month. Closer to VanWest’s North Carolina acquisitions, the Raleigh-Durham market came in at $87 a month for the same size and Charlotte’s market was at $83 a month.

According to the report, the rent growth has been stunted by the continuing influx of self storage supply in the last few years. While the rent has been dropping steadily throughout the year, the self storage pipeline remains strong with 2,164 properties in various stages of development.