XtraSpace Self Storage, which operates more than 20 locations in South Africa, has expanded its footprint to the island nation of Mauritius in a joint venture with local storage operator Multibox Ltd. The two companies have opened the first of three planned facilities in Bagatelle, as part of the Mall of Mauritius development, according to a press release.
“The Mauritian market is underdeveloped, with limited supply of storage space,” said Abri Schneider, CEO for XtraSpace. “We have partnered with the leading [local] operator and intend on offering the best storage experience on the island.”
The joint-venture development is the third location for Multibox, which operates two other facilities in the north and west of the island. The new facility, branded under the Multibox name, is more centrally located. “There are no other providers offering self-storage with a wide range of unit sizes and a fair number of units,” said Max Bonieux, managing director of Multibox.
Multibox will handle the day-to-day management of the facility. “We haven’t changed our way of operating apart from improving our services through the experience of XtraSpace,” Bonieux said.
Mauritius is east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Its population is about 1.2 million people, according to 2003 census figures. “Mauritius has a stable economy and a friendly business culture. Many South Africans travel to and from Mauritius, which is only a four-hour trip from South Africa,” Schneider said. “We were always keen to operate in Mauritius with local partners. All challenges were overcome by having local partners on the ground.”
Bonieux said the government and citizens have been working to develop a national reputation as a financial center attractive to African businesses. “The government is investing massively to transform Port Louis harbor to a regional hub,” he said. “This is good for the country.”
Although the joint-venture facility is focused on self-storage, Schneider indicated XtraSpace is discussing with Multibox the possibility of expanding the scope to include flexible, co-working office space and business services, which the operator has incorporated into many of its South African self-storage facilities.
XtraSpace operates 21 self-storage facilities in the South African provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. In addition to traditional self-storage space, the company’s locations offer business centers with flexible offices for small and mid-sized companies, meeting rooms, free Internet, and copying and fax facilities. The company also offers domestic and international courier services. It launched its SpaceBox service last year.