Contributing Editors

Investors Gear Up for Inside Self-Storage World Expo 2010

by Tony Gonzalez December 16, 2009 2:36 AM
Inside Self-Storage has announced that its 2010 World Expo will be held March 1-3, in Las Vegas, at the Paris Hotel and Resort. The Inside Self-Storage Expo is the self-storage industry's largest convention and trade show. It provides a four-track education program and development seminars, and gives self-storage owners, entrepreneurs, investors, developers, and suppliers a chance to meet each other and network. It will also include product and service exhibits. All in all, the 2010 ISS Expo will provide 36 seminars, four workshops, two days of product and service exhibits, five networking events, and a Self-Storage Q&A roundtable discussion. A new feature this year will be the Technology Marketplace, where Expo exhibitors can show off the newest security, software, and other technology-related products.

One of the most popular seminars at the Inside Self-Storage Expo every year is the intensive, six-hour Developers Seminar. This year, the Developers Seminar will be hosted by RK Kliebenstein, the president of Coast-to-Coast Storage, and will take place on March 3, from noon until 6 p.m. Kliebenstein will provide potential investors with tools and information they need to evaluate whether self-storage is a good business fit for them, explaining the how to develop a self-storage site, how to find financing for a self-storage venture, and focusing on how the economic recession has affected the self-storage business. Kliebenstein's workshop will also be helpful for small self-storage facility owners who are looking for ideas to help them expand their businesses. [More]

Pittsburgh Self-Storage Market Continues to Improve

by John Stevens December 16, 2009 1:38 AM
Earlier this month, Global Self Storage, in San Bernardino County, California, sold for $4.5 million after having been foreclosed upon earlier in the year. This Monday, in another early indication of the improving economy and the rising market for self storage facilities, Strategic Storage Trust, Inc. (SSTI), bought two new self storage facilities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a combined purchase price of $5.7 million, paid in cash.

SSTI bought one property on Landings Drive, and one on Lebanon Road, in Pittsburgh. Both properties were previously owned by Sovran Acquisition Group. Together, the facilities will become part of a new self-storage brand established by SSTI in mid-November: Smart Stop Self Storage. SSTI hopes eventually to re-brand all its properties, of which there are 24 in 13 states, with the Smart Stop name. [More]

Self Storage Association Accepting Applications for College Scholarships

by Kim Kilpatrick December 15, 2009 4:45 PM
The national Self Storage Association (SSA) has announced that its scholarship foundation, the Self Storage Association Foundation (SSAF), is accepting applications for college scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year. Scholarships will range in amounts from $2500 to $5000 per academic year. They can be used to pay for tuition, fees, course-related expenses such as books and laboratory materials, and for room and board.

To qualify for a scholarship from the SSAF, students must demonstrate financial need and must have a cumulative grade point average of at least a "C," or a 2.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 point scale. To demonstrate financial need, students should fill out the 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Aid Report (SAR). Applicants must also be employed by companies that are members of the Self Storage Association, or must be children or grandchildren of SSA member employees. Students should obtain the SSA member number for the self-storage facility with which they are associated, or contact the SSA for help in locating the member number. [More]

Michigan Legislature Approves Amendment of Self-Storage Lien Procedure

by Winnie Hsiu December 15, 2009 3:46 PM
Michigan's legislature has passed Senate Bill 204, amending the lien procedures for self-storage facilities in the state. The bill was sent to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 7. When Granholm signs it, it will become law. The Self Storage Association of Michigan and the national Self Storage Association both lobbied on behalf of the bill, which sets special rules for self-storage tenants if they are deployed military personnel. The bill was originally introduced into the Michigan legislature by Democratic Senator Dennis Olshove on Feb. 10, 2009. The same language being used in the Michigan bill is also being considered in legislation that is pending in Arizona, California, and North Carolina.

As currently written, Michigan's self-storage lien laws allow storage operator's to sell, at a public sale, the goods that they find inside a unit when the unit's rent is not paid. SB 204, which is being referred to as the "self-service storage facility act," makes deployed military personnel exempt from having their units foreclosed on, and the contents auctioned at a public sale, if they are unable to pay regular rent payments on the self-storage units they occupy. According to the new rules set forth in the bill, a self-storage facility owner cannot enforce a lien against a armed services member who is currently serving overseas on active duty and who will be on duty overseas for at least 180 days. When service members return from overseas assignments, self-storage facility owners must wait at least 90 days after the end of the overseas service before they can begin lien enforcement proceedings. [More]

Preparing Self-Storage Units for the 2010 Hurricane Season

by Holly Robinson December 14, 2009 4:27 PM
Gray and Klotzbach predict a doozy of a season for 2010, with as many as 16 tropical storms and six to eight hurricanes. It is possible, they say, that five of those hurricanes could be major. A major hurricane is one with sustained winds of more than 111 miles per hour. The likelihood that these hurricanes will make landfall, too, is higher than usual....

Residents of South Florida and the Gulf coast, however, may prefer to follow the maxim that it is better to be safe than sorry, and secure any property that they feel strongly that they could not afford to lose, or stand to lose, in a hurricane. One way to prepare for a hurricane is to put property that is valuable or has sentimental value into self-storage. Self-storage units are well-constructed for withstanding hurricanes, as many of them are made out of reinforced concrete. Many self-storage facilities in hurricane-prone areas make special preparations for tropical storms and hurricanes, including having backup generators on site, hurricane impact windows, and covered loading docks. If you are especially concerned, find out whether the self-storage facility that you are considering has made preparations for hurricanes, and whether or not it has withstood other hurricanes in the past. [More]

National Portable Storage Association Announces 2010 Events

by Tony Gonzalez December 14, 2009 3:38 PM
The National Portable Storage Association (NPSA) has announced that it will be holding two conventions in 2010....The first convention, the Spring Seminar, will take place from April 26-27, 2010, at the Hilton Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia. At the Spring Seminar, members traditionally focus on education, networking, and any special issues, opportunities or challenges that are facing the industry. Remembering the 2009 Spring Seminar, NPSA Executive Director John Finnessy commented, "Last year in Santa Barbara, we focused on what happened in the second hand market for shipping containers in key industries....In 2010, we'll continue our tradition of addressing the challenges our industry faces, as well as hosting a venue for strategic networking."

NPSA's second convention of the year will be its signature event, the 8th Annual Conference and Trade Show. This year the show will be held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. More than 650 people attended last year's trade show, which had 50 exhibitors and was held in October at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The 2009 event was co-sponsored by the Mobile Self-Storage Association. [More]

More Companies Approved for Incentives If They Relocate to Louisville

by Kim Kilpatrick December 11, 2009 4:31 PM
Earlier this week, RecoverCare announced that it was relocating its corporate headquarters to Louisville, KY. Yesterday, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority announced that it was approving economic incentives for 13 other companies for various projects in the Louisville area. Seven of the newly approved projects would involve the opening of new facilities in Louisville, while the other six would offer incentives to companies that already have facilities in Louisville that they are considering expanding.

If all 13 companies proceed with their plans, the Louisville area could expect to see its employment rate increase by 658 new jobs, and by more than $26.5 million in new payroll funds. The companies that already operate in Louisville currently employ 956 Louisville-area residents. The entire cost of all 13 projects amounts to an investment of around $79.2 million.

"This is the largest number of projects we've brought to the state for incentives in many years," commented Mayor Jerry Abramson. "It shows that, even in this down economy, Louisville is working diligently to attract new jobs and investments." [More]

New York Nonprofits Consider Creative Alternatives for Space

by Kim Kilpatrick December 11, 2009 2:27 PM
Brokerage firm S. Sunshine & Associates, of New York City, has released its 2010 Nonprofit Real Estate Survey. The survey found that in a recession economy, many nonprofits are getting fewer donations and are having to reassess their budgets. More than 40 percent are responding to the recession by cutting staff members, but others are trying to find ways to fit their offices into less space. "The survey results show that nonprofits are seeking ways to maximize the efficiency of their real estate in a creative manner," says Suzanne Sunshine, president of S. Sunshine & Associates.

Many nonprofits are considering relocating to offices in less expensive areas. Among nonprofits who expect their need for space to rise or drop in the next year, 48 percent are considering relocation. The majority, however, prefer to stay at their current locations if at all possible. More than half of nonprofits have been at their current locations for more than six years. For nonprofit organizations, which rely on donations to provide them with the revenue and supplies that they need to remain in operation, keeping one standard address that does not change can be very important. Almost 90 percent of survey respondents said that their office locations provided a reasonable value to their organizations, and one third said that they would consider moving only if their operating costs rose so much that they could no longer afford rent in their current locations. [More]

Self Storage Company Sells for $4.5 Million

by Holly Robinson December 10, 2009 12:31 PM
One of the earliest indicators that the economy is beginning to improve may be that foreclosed upon self-storage businesses are beginning to sell – and to sell quickly. Early in December, Bancap Self Storage Group brokered the sale of Global Self Storage, located in Victorville in San Bernardino County, California, for $4.5 million.

Global Self Storage had been foreclosed upon early in 2009. It contains 600 self-storage units, which make up nearly 87,000 net square feet of space. The facility is located on nearly 7.5 acres of land and also includes 150 exterior RV and boat storage spaces.

“This is a classic example of a first class property that just opened up for business at the wrong time,” said Dean Keller, Bancap’s president, who brokered the deal. “The effects of the economic downturn and the temporary overbuilding in these areas have really hurt owners in outlying markets like this.” [More]

Free Webinars on Marketing Self-Storage

by John Stevens December 10, 2009 12:26 PM
Mini-Storage Messenger is offering a free monthly webinar series for self-storage managers who are interested in learning more about marketing and management. In December and January, the webinars will focus on marketing in general and on the use of social networking as a marketing tool.

The first seminar, on December 17, will be hosted by Anne Ballard, the president and founder of Universal Management Company. Ballard, a frequent speaker at self-storage industry conferences, is often referred to simply as “The Hat Lady,” so her webinar is titled “The Hat Lady Speaks: Marketing Self-Storage.” Ballard will walk webinar attendees through the marketing process one step at a time. She will focus on how to present each facility’s story, methods for improving facility performance, marketing strategies and instructions, and how to motivate the marketing team. [More]
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