The Pursuit of Self-Storage Nirvana

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From an initial association in transcendental meditation (TM) to their ongoing partnership in self-storage and real estate, Jeff Quinn and Ken Weiner are living proof you can combine operation of a thriving company with a higher purpose in life. TM is a combination of Hindu techniques used to “gain deep relaxation, eliminate stress, promote good health, increase creativity and intelligence, and attain inner happiness and fulfillment,” according to program literature. Devotees Quinn and Weiner have used it to expand their self-storage consciousness—and success.

The two became friends in 1973 while teaching TM in San Diego. But they didn’t work together until after a reunion in 2001, when they first discussed their mutual desire to enter the storage industry.

In the intervening years, they enjoyed successful careers in real estate. Quinn started out by developing condos and single-family homes. He eventually moved on to manage high-profile San Diego accounts such as the Sports Arena, the Gulls hockey team, the Sockers soccer club and the Children’s Museum. Weiner began his real estate career selling homes, later carving a niche for himself in the mobile-home/RV-park industry.

With self-storage as a new shared focus, they launched JK Investment Properties (JKIP) in 2002 and immediately set to work forging investment partnerships for self-storage acquisition. Within three years, the company raised $20 million in investor equity and purchased 13 properties in Arizona, California, Nevada and Spain.

Higher Expectations

The partners’ investment philosophy is based on the principles of experience, value, management and accessibility; but striving for a higher consciousness always underlies their business approach. “We understand if you do right, if you provide value for others, the universe will always reward you,” Weiner says.

Quinn admits even he is sometimes stunned at the company’s success. “We have some really wonderful properties that are performing above our projections.”

The entrepreneurs’ first venture was in Las Vegas in 2003, when they formed a partnership with StorageOne. Less than a year after acquiring Tenaya Way Self Storage for $3.9 million, they refinanced it and returned 56 percent of the original investment. “This property set a StorageOne record by achieving 90 percent occupancy in four months,” Weiner says. The addition of two new Las Vegas facilities quickly followed.

Last year, the joint venture entered Arizona, where the company developed a StorageOne property in Surprise. Expansion continued with the construction of a Bakersfield, Calif., facility that’s scheduled to open this summer, the first of up to 10 sites to be built in the area over the next five years.

The partners’ vision has even extended to a multi-project development in Spain. Nevada Global Box LLC, a partnership of JKIP and Yale USA, a San Diego-based real estate investment firm, was formed in June to invest in European storage. The company opened its first property in Mostoles, Spain, just outside Madrid. Two other sites were purchased in the neighboring areas of Arganda del Rey and Rivas. JKIP plans a total of 10 Spanish stores. “Several facilities have opened in the Madrid area since we formed Nevada Global Box, and they have seen great success with rental rates higher than our projections,” Quinn says.

Staying Centered

Quinn and Weiner are confident of the benefits of TM in dealing with the pressures of a competitive industry. They’ve been practicing the technique so long it’s ingrained into their core beings. “We are working hard—maybe almost too hard for guys our age,” Weiner says. In a sometimes frenetic environment, his daily meditation keeps him centered. “Like most people, we love success, but we maintain a sense of a greater purpose in life.” For more information, call 800.644.4472; visit www.jkip.com.

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