Contributing Editors

Tech-Fast Self Storage Buildings Sold to Trachte Building Systems

by Tony Gonzalez February 3, 2010 5:03 PM
Tech-Fast Self Storage founders Dave Cook and Mark Duncan announced today that they have sold the Tacoma, Washington company to Trachte Building Systems, Inc.

Tech-Fast,which was founded in 1989, designs and builds customized low- to mid-rise, pre-engineered self-storage buildings. The company's philosophy is to make self-storage properties "easy to plan, simple to build and profitable to operate." Tech-Fast advises its clients from the very beginning of a project, including finding a location, acquiring property, performing a feasibility study, obtaining city/county permits, and constructing the facility. Trachte, which is headquartered in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, runs a very similar business. It designs and produces customized, pre-engineered steel self-storage systems. Trachte makes single- and multi-story systems, portable storage, interior partitions and corridors, and boat/RV canopies. Trachte was founded in 1901, by two brothers (George and Arthur Trachte) who had become tinsmith apprentices, learned the trade, and then went into business for themselves. [More]

Maine's Legislature Closer to Passing Self Storage Records Law

by John Stevens February 3, 2010 11:51 AM
Maine's legislature is one step closer this week to passing the state's new law protecting personal financial records that are abandoned in self-storage units. The bill, LD 1499, is under final review by the Business Research Economic Development Committee. It was drafted by the Maine Self Storage Association together with the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, and is expected to pass in both Maine's House and Senate this spring. The bill was sponsored by Maine State Senator Peter Bowman.

Under Maine's current law, items in self-storage units may be sold if rent for the unit is 45 days or more past due. The self-storage operator is not required to inventory the unit for personal records, or to notify any regulators if personal records are found or believed to be present, as often happens when mortgage companies that keep their records in self-storage go out of business. [More]

Safestore Reports Loss Despite Increase in Customers

by Kim Kilpatrick February 2, 2010 10:47 AM
The United Kingdom's largest self-storage company, Safestore, has reported a full-year loss for 2009, even though the number of customers using its facilities has steadily increased. After making a pre-tax profit of £14.9 million in 2008, it recorded a pre-tax loss for 2009 of £9.4 million ($15 million). Per share earnings fell from 6.68p to a loss of 0.14p.

Occupancy of Safestore's storage units grew by 57,000 square feet in 2009, against a drop of 195,000 square feet in 2008. Rental rates also rose 4.9 percent. At year's end, Safestore was charging £25.24 per square foot of unit space. Safestore's UK and French earnings rose 1.9 percent, from £82.9 to £84.4 million. [More]

AZSSA Reacts to New Lien Law with Auctions Website and Legal Seminar

by Winnie Hsiu February 2, 2010 9:31 AM
This week the Arizona Self Storage Association (AZSSA) opened its new self-storage auctions website. The website allows Arizona self-storage facilities to post notices related to upcoming auction sales. Interested buyers can go to the website and see a comprehensive list of auctions that are coming up all over the state. They can search the listing by date, city, zip code, or facility name....
The auctions website is just the most recent in a series of steps the Arizona Self Storage Association has taken to try to automate the process of holding auctions and lien sales. Last August, the AZSSA began offering its members a series of automated mailing forms to use in sending lien-sale notices with a Certificate of Mailing. (Because of changes to Arizona's lien laws, members do not have to send their lien notices by certified mail any more--instead, they can use First Class Mail.) The forms offered by the AZSSA were approved by the Postal Service and can be downloaded from the AZSSA website. They are also available on disks and in print, in the AZSSA's Resource Book. [More]

Texas Self Storage Association Plans Storage Education Series

by Holly Robinson February 1, 2010 1:04 PM
The Texas Self Storage Association (TSSA) announced last week that it will include two legal seminars and two webinars as part of its Storage Education series.

The legal seminars will cover Texas self-storage laws relating to vehicle and boat lien sale procedures, which have changed since the last legislative session. The seminars will enable owners, managers, and developers to familiarize themselves with the changes. The two seminars will be held on February 18, at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade in San Antonio, and on March 24, at the Hilton Houston Westchase, in Houston. Each seminar will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. [More]

Self Storage Firm Leads Rankings in New Environmental Index

by Tony Gonzalez February 1, 2010 11:40 AM
Last week, the European Centre for Corporate Engagement (ECCE) announced that it has created a new index, the Environmental Real Estate Index (EREI), to use in evaluating property companies and fund managers on how well they manage environmental issues in their portfolios. It is hoped, the authors of the report write, that the benchmarks created by the index "can serve as a catalyst for environmental engagement in real estate investments."

In the first ever Environmental Real Estate Index rankings, a self storage company, the UK's Big Yellow Group, was one of the highest-ranked companies, second only to Australia's GPT. The Big Yellow Group scored 83 out of a possible 100 overall, while GPT scored 86. The U.S. leader of the EREI, Vornado Real Estate Trust, scored 55. [More]
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