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Life Storage buys Tampa self-storage center to augment portfolio

Buffalo-based company is among the larger players in self-storage nationwide

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  • | 6:00 a.m. April 5, 2019
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COURTESY PHOTO — Life Storage has acquired a three-story self-storage property in Tampa.
COURTESY PHOTO — Life Storage has acquired a three-story self-storage property in Tampa.
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Life Storage L.P., a Buffalo-based company that ranks as one of the largest self-storage facility owners nationwide, has acquired a 634-unit personal warehouse project in Tampa for $6.93 million, according to Hillsborough County property records.

Seminole & Heights Self Storage, completed in 2018, is unique in that it rises three levels — most self-storage properties are ground-level only — and because it is mixed-use, with a limited amount of office space.

The 1011 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. project also is distinctive because it contains more than 600 climate-controlled units.

The 65,224-square-foot complex, on 2.1 acres, was developed by an affiliate of Michael G. Charles, records show. Its sale is one of the largest involving a single self-storage asset in the Tampa area in the past year.

“This is a Class A project that’s unique in a lot of ways,” says Ryan Clark, director of investment sales at Tampa-based commercial real estate brokerage SkyView Advisors, which specializes in the sale of self-storage properties.

“As such, it was very well received by the market,” adds Clark, who represented seller Seminole & Heights Storage LLC in the transaction. “We had 15 offers from national buyers, in part because of the favorable supply dynamic at present in the Tampa area.”

Clark expects self-storage pricing to continue to accelerate in Tampa and other Gulf Coast urban areas.

“Given the amount of growth that we’ve had in the Tampa area, and the amount that’s forecast for the foreseeable future, Tampa now is on every large (self-storage) operator’s list of (metropolitan statistical areas) to move or expand into.”

He also anticipates multilevel self-storage projects — previously limited to larger urban markets like Miami and San Francisco as a result of heightened land costs — will become increasingly common along the Gulf Coast.

“We’re seeing the evolution of developers seeking more retail locations for self storage rather than traditionally industrial locations,” Clark says.

Diane Piegza, a Life Storage vice president, says the company was drawn to Seminole & Heights primarily because of its age and location.

“It’s in lease-up mode now, which is one of our strengths as a company,” Piegza says. “It’s a good fit for our portfolio, and we hope to put in some more signage to make it more visible in the community.”

Life Storage, formerly known as Sovran Holdings and trading as Uncle Bob’s Self Storage until 2017, was founded in 1982. Today, it owns 750 self-storage facilities in 28 states containing more than 45 million square feet, according to its website.

Throughout Florida, the company owns nearly 100 such facilities, from Clearwater to Lakeland and south to Bonita Springs. In Tampa, it owns nine self-storage projects, its website notes.




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