Contributing Editors

Real Estate Investors Snapping Up Self Storage Deals

by Tony Gonzalez April 1, 2010 4:31 PM
Several self storage real estate transactions have been in the news this week as the market for self storage facilities steadily improves.

Highway 79 Super Storage of Temecula, California, was sold this week for 93 percent of its asking price. The final sale, which was brokered by Marcus & Millichap, was for seven million dollars. The buyers and sellers were represented by Nick Walker and Michelle Watson, of Marcus & Millichap’s National Self Storage Group, and by Jake Steele and Andy Glinski, from its Special Assets Group. [More]

Self Storage Industry Expanding in Bermuda

by Kim Kilpatrick April 1, 2010 4:29 PM
Two new self storage facilities are scheduled to open in Bermuda in the next few months, according to an article in today’s Royal Gazette. Both facilities will be located in Pembroke. Bermuda already has another self storage facility, Bedrock Secure Self Storage, in operation in Ferry Reach.

One of the new self storage facilities, Island Self Storage, has been conducting an advertising campaign for the last few months. In November and December, Island Self Storage mailed brochures to commercial renters in Hamilton, and hand-delivered brochures to condominium residents in Pembroke and Paget. In January and February, Island set up a roadside billboard. It also had an exhibit at the Coldwell Banker Home Show in February and has been getting 11 to 15 hits daily on its website. In March, the company stepped up its advertising with ads in the Royal Gazette and began running radio and television commercials. [More]

New York Legislature Considers Self Storage Insurance Bill

by John Stevens April 1, 2010 4:26 PM
New York State Senator Neil Breslin has introduced a bill authorizing New York state self-storage operators to offer pay-with-rent insurance plans to their tenants. The bill has been sent to the Senate’s Insurance Committee for consideration. Similar laws have so far been passed in 10 states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Texas, and Washington. Currently, according to research reported by Inside Self-Storage last March, more than 70 percent of self storage operators nationwide do not offer tenant insurance. Many of those who do offer insurance do so simply by handing tenants a brochure that refers them to an insurance company offering a mail-in tenant insurance plan. [More]

Michigan Reconsiders Taxing Self Storage

by Tony Gonzalez April 1, 2010 4:25 PM
Michigan self storage facilities barely avoiding being subjected to a sales tax in December 2007, when Michigan’s legislature passed a six percent service sales tax and then repealed the tax only a few hours after it went into effect. Instead Michigan legislators decided to add a 21.99 percent surcharge to the state’s new business tax.

But now Michigan’s self storage industry faces the likelihood that the legislature will pass the service sales tax again. Michigan is projecting that in its upcoming fiscal year, starting in October, the state will have a $1.7 billion budget deficit. Governor Jennifer Granholm wants to reinstate the service sales tax to help make up the difference. She told the Michigan Public Radio Network this week that legislators, most of whom are up for reelection in November, would be better off agreeing to a service sales tax now than taking the risk of having to shut down the government for lack of money, a month before the general election. In October 2007, Michigan’s government had to partially shut down for four hours. [More]

Real Estate Expert Predicts Self Storage Will Bounce Back First

by Tony Gonzalez April 1, 2010 4:22 PM
Grubb & Ellis AGA US Realty Fund manager Jay Leupp predicted Wednesday that self storage real estate will bounce back before most of the rest of the real estate market, probably within a year or two.

“We see commercial real estate in the early stages of a three- to five- year recovery,” Leupp told an interviewer from Wednesday’s Fund Manager Five Spot feature, a regular feature featured by The Street in which prominent investment fund managers recommend stock picks in answers to five quick questions. “The sector recoveries will be at different paces though. We see apartments, health care real estate and some of the specialty areas, like self-storage, recovering very soon, over the next 12 to 24 months.” [More]

April is National Car Care Month

by John Stevens April 1, 2010 4:19 PM
As National Car Care Month approaches, people storing cars and other vehicles in self storage may want to take time to take cars out and do a routine maintenance check. April is a good time to do so, because many auto repair shops and parts stores around the country will be offering special discounts in honor of National Car Care Month. Throughout the month of April, the Car Care Council will be posting community events, such as vehicle checkups, on Facebook. At these events, technicians will check many of the most commonly overlooked car components. Nationwide, auto repair shops, auto parts stores, vocational schools offering courses in auto mechanics, and other organizations are participating in the CCC’s annual educational campaign to encourage car owners to take good care of their vehicles.

When a car is being kept in storage, and is not being driven regularly, it is especially important to take it out occasionally for maintenance. Cars that sit for a long time without being driven can slowly deteriorate, as sludge and acids may form in the engine oil, mildew may start to grow in the interior, and spark plugs may start to rust. Some of this deterioration can be prevented. Sludge and acids are less likely to form in engine oil if car owners change a car’s oil and filter right before storing it. Spark plugs are less likely to rust if owners take the spark plugs out, fill the cylinders with oil, and then replace spark plugs before storing the car. It is also a good idea to seal the engine openings with absorbent cotton to protect the engine from moisture while it is in storage, and to use a trickle charger to keep the battery fully charged. All the car’s fluids, including the transmission and rear axle fluid, should be topped before a car is placed back in storage. [More]

How Will Health Care Reform Affect Self Storage Companies?

by Holly Robinson April 1, 2010 4:15 PM
Will health care reform hurt or benefit self storage companies? According to the national Self Storage Association, 90 percent of all self storage companies are single facilities run by owner/operators. In other words, most self storage facilities are small businesses. A careful look at how the health care reform bill affects small businesses, then, will tell us exactly how it might affect most self storage companies.

Currently, nearly half of small business owners do not have health insurance themselves or provide it to their employees. Among firms that have between three and nine employees, less than half provide health insurance. The initial impact of health care reform, therefore, will depend on whether or not a self storage firm has 50 or more employees. Larger firms, with 50 or more employees, will have to provide health insurance to employees or pay a fee. Smaller firms, though, including most self storage facilities, will not be forced to provide health insurance. But providing health insurance will become more feasible, if facilities choose to offer it. [More]
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