The growth of Bluespace parallels that of the Spanish industry. After the first facility opened in Hospitalet (Barcelona), we established sites in Badalona and Montcada, and opened other new facilities in rented buildings near Barcelona. We rapidly filled more than 7,500 additional square meters.
In January 2005, we expanded with a rented building in Campanar, Valencia. The year also marked an important change in the company’s growth strategy, as Pramerica Real Estate Investors became a majority shareholder. Since then, Bluespace has continued expanding, but has purchased its own buildings.
In 2006, we acquired stores from Easy Box in Leganes (Madrid) and El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona), branding them with the Bluespace name. Later in the year, we opened two more sites in Barcelona: one on Rambla Guipúzcoa Street and another on Sant Just Desvern.
This year has been our year of expansion in Madrid, with the opening of two new stores in the Spanish capital, Julián Camarillo (city center) and Alcorcon (South area). The company now boasts about 6,000 units. We’re also building four new stores—one in Barcelona, another in Valencia and two in Madrid—and planning to acquire three new locations in the near future. In addition, we’re expanding our Barcelona sites with additions to the Rambla Guipúzcoa and Sant Just facilities. Once construction is complete and these stores are 100 percent occupied, the total offering of Bluespace will be about 70,000 square meters.
Investing in Growth
The Bluespace strategy is to acquire and develop six to eight new facilities per year, with the objective of having 45 operational stores in Spain within five years. These facilities will be in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, cities where Bluespace already operates, because of their higher storage demand and growth potential.
To meet its expansion aims over the next 12 months, Bluespace secured the financial support of Pramerica, which has contributed €70 million share capital. In addition, Hypo Real Estate Bank Internacional AG granted €125 million to finance the acquisition of new facilities in June.
Self-storage is growing more rapidly in Spain than in most European countries. It’s an industry of great economic potential due to increasing social demand and awareness. Spanish self-storage is quickly marching toward acceptance, expansion and prosperity, with Bluespace hand-in-hand.
Entrepreneur Alexander Ruckensteiner is a co-founder, director general, board member and shareholder of Bluespace self-storage. He holds doctorates from the MTI Sloan School in Boston and the University of Austria. His last executive position was as CEO of Kneissel-Raichle, a sporting-goods manufacturer. For more information, visit www.bluespace.es.