Contributing Editors

South Investment Property Celebrates Opening of Homestead US 1 Self Storage

by John Stevens February 10, 2010 10:06 AM
American National Self Storage Inc. sold its Homestead, FL self-storage facility last October for $1.75 million. The buyers, a group of investors from South Investment Property, decided to form a new self-storage business, Homestead US 1 Self Storage, thinking that they could harness an untapped market in Homestead and increase occupancy in the facility. A few days ago, they finally got their chance to try, when Homestead US 1 Self Storage opened to the public. The facility celebrated its opening with a barbeque party attended by a large crowd of customers, local officials, members of the South Investment Property group, and other guests.

At the time of purchase, Homestead's facility was about 50 percent occupied. South Investment Property made a plan for increasing occupancy. Investors hired contractors specializing in self-storage to significantly renovate the property. They rebranded the exterior using Homestead's corporate colors, designed a new logo for the business and new signage, and set up a website that could not only handle the marketing of the property, but also its property management and accounting software. HOmestead's building was originally built in 1986. It has been renovated once before, in 1993. [More]

UK's Self Storage Association Reports Industry Growth

by Kim Kilpatrick February 10, 2010 8:57 AM
Every year the Self Storage Association of the UK (SSAUK) commissions a report on the status of the self-storage industry in Britain. The 2009 report, which was released this week, was, like the CREF conference of mortgage bankers which also met recently, cautiously optimistic about the future of the self-storage industry in 2010.

The report noted that in 2009, the number of self-storage facilities in Britain increased by four percent. Four percent is a slower growth rate than the industry had enjoyed over the past five years, when growth rates ranged from eight to 15 percent. The SSAUK said that there is room for more growth in the future as the industry catches up with self-storage markets that are more established, such as the American market. [More]

MiniCo Announces Free Self-Storage Pro Forma Webinar

by Kim Kilpatrick February 9, 2010 6:26 PM
MiniCo Publishing announced today that its next webinar will cover the self-storage pro forma. The webinar, "Understanding a Self-Storage Pro Forma," will be presented by Mike Parham of Noah's Ark Development, a subsidiary of the Parham Group. Parham will cover the following topics:

how to analyze a pro forma overall
anticipated development variables
normal operating expenses
how to determine the cost of development
how to determine the future fair market value [More]

Mortgage Bankers Express Optimism About Self-Storage Industry

by John Stevens February 9, 2010 2:59 PM
Over 1,800 mortgage bankers and lenders attended the Mortgage Bankers Association CREF Convention and Expo this week in Las Vegas. While discussion at the conference focused mostly on financing of multifamily dwellings, lenders also discussed the business climate for other types of commercial lending. Most commercial lenders were looking for stable, fully-leased properties from strong businesses. Lenders were most interested in office, industrial, and self-storage properties -- about which they were cautiously optimistic -- and had little interest in retail and hospitality businesses.

Economists at the conference said that the recession had ended in August 2009. They noted that single family homes had troughed in value during the first quarter of 2009. Now home values have risen 10 percent from that low point. Commercial real estate values, though, peaked in 2007. Commercial real estate values are still 31 percent lower than they were at their 2007 peak. Economists further predicted that commercial real estate values will continue to drop at least another four percent. Retail leasing, in particular, is expected to trough in 2010. But a retail rebound is expected to occur as well, at some point during the year. [More] Announces Pay-Per-Result Pricing for Self-Storage Companies

by John Stevens February 8, 2010 7:23 AM
Storage Seeker, an online self-storage facility search directory, announced last week that it is changing its pricing structure in an attempt to become more affordable for smaller self-storage companies that sign up for its services. While most storage directories charge a monthly subscription fee to list premium information about a storage facility, Storage Seeker will now give its customers the option to pay based on the number of storage Unit quote requests that they receive from prospective tenants through Storage Seeker. Quote Requests are requests from interested tenants to find out about prices of self-storage units and available sizes.

Storage Seeker's management feels that this option will be valuable to small businesses, because its Quote Requests are high quality tenant leads. Storage Seeker's Quote Requests are not provided to multiple facilities at once, but are generated for individual businesses at particular locations. [More]

Former Coca-Cola Plant Converted to Self-Storage

by Tony Gonzalez February 8, 2010 6:54 AM
Capital Self Storage, of Springettsbury Township, Pennsylvania, has begun renovating a former Coca-Cola bottling plant, to add the space to its self-storage facility. Capital made the decision to buy the old Coca-Cola plant two years ago. It plans to demolish an old garage at the back of the property, putting up five new buildings in its place. The expansion will add about 350 new storage units, comprising 38,000 feet of additional space, to Capital's facility. The project will cost about $1 million to complete, according to Capital's owner, Ken Snyder.

Snyder was excited about the opportunity to expand Capital's space, noting that the Coca-Cola plant's location is idea because it is in the middle of a densely-populated, heavily-traveled area. Business in Pennsylvania has been good lately, he says, not because of foreclosures, but because of other factors, such as children moving back in with their parents. [More]

AZ SSA to Hold Annual Conference in Tempe, May 17 to 19

by Holly Robinson February 5, 2010 1:25 PM
The Arizona Self Storage Association announced this morning that it will hold its 12th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Tempe, Arizona, from May 17 to 19, at the Marriott Buttes Hotel. The conference's theme, "Survivor: Self Storage", was inspired by the television program, "Survivor." The AZ SSA website notes that "Often times, in light of today's economy, operating in the self-storage industry can feel like you are...struggling every day to stay on the island and not get voted off." The conference will focus on giving self-storage owners and managers a set of tools and strategies they can use to navigate their businesses during an economic recession. [More]

LinkedIn Poll Shows Location Is Key When Choosing Self-Storage

by Winnie Hsiu February 5, 2010 12:33 PM
In another example of how social networking sites can be used to benefit the self-storage industry, PhoneSmart Director Tron Jordheim decided to use LinkedIn, an online professional social network, to find out why professional people choose a particular self-storage company over another. He generated a poll asking, "If you are using or have used self-storage, why did you choose one facility over another?" More than 500 LinkedIn members (out of LinkedIn's network of more than 13 million) responded. Here are their responses:

Fifty percent chose based on the convenience of the location.
Thirteen percent looked for the lowest price.
Twelve percent chose based on special features and amenities.
Another twelve percent chose the facility that looked the cleanest.
Eleven percent simply chose a facility that was recommended to them by someone else. [More]

More Topics Revealed for Upcoming Inside Self Storage World Expo

by Winnie Hsiu February 4, 2010 7:47 AM
Inside Self Storage has begun announcing more of the topics for educational roundtables and seminars at its upcoming 2010 World Expo, to take place in Las Vegas from March 1-3.

On March 1, self-storage industry experts will answer questions from Expo participants during a roundtable discussion at the Paris Hotel & Resort. The roundtable discussion is meant to give more and less experienced industry professionals, such as owners, operators, managers, developers, and investors, the chance to talk intimately with each other one on one. The roundtable will cover nearly 30 topics, including: [More]

Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry Opened in Self-Storage Center

by Holly Robinson February 4, 2010 6:24 AM
Two Cincinnati-area nonprofit animal welfare groups are combining forces to open the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry -- a food pantry for pets. The pantry will be operated out of a self-storage facility, Queen City Self-Storage, at 4775 Red Bank Expressway in Cincinnati. The new pet food pantry is conveniently located right behind the Red Bank Emergency Vet Clinic. The Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry will be run by Recycled Doggies and Pet Alliance.

Organizers of the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry say they have noticed that many families are forced to get rid of their family pets because they are so short of money that they cannot afford to feed an animal in addition to their own family members. They hoped to prevent families from having to make such a heartbreaking decision by providing food for pets. [More]
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