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New York Self Storage Association Finance & Real Estate Summit

Kurt Conlon Comments

The 2008 New York Self Storage Association Finance & Real Estate Summit Nov. 20 was a great success.

The guest speaker for the event was Charles Wilson, a real estate appraiser who for the past 30 years has specialized in the appraisal of self-storage facilities. Wilson presented on industry trends and provided real-time insight on how self-storage values are reacting to the tremendous market turmoil over this past year.

Appropriately held at New York’s Park Avenue Mansion, home of the Union League Club and once owned by the family of J.P. Morgan. One guest said to me, “What do you think J.P. Morgan would have said about the current economic turmoil?” As I reflected, I could only assume J.P. would have viewed this for some as a market niche filled with opportunity, a relative speed bump.

As I began to put this into perspective, I was inspired by the Union League Club, which weathered the depression of 1929, established the Metropolitan Museum of Art, played an essential role in founding the American Red Cross and helped erect the Statue of Liberty in New York Bay.

Attendance was strong with an impressive showing of eager area owners, operators and investors. Intense panel discussions offered timely straight talk on capital markets, objective views on accurate property equity valuation and up-to-the-minute occupancy trends.

The financial panel included some of our industry’s best and brightest minds including William Avery, vice president, Wells Fargo Bank; Neal Gussis, principal, Beacon Realty Capital; and Chris Kosonen, vice president, Macquarie Bank Limited.

The panel and attendee list included David Doll of  Public Storage, an owner-operator of more than 2,200 facilities in 38 U.S. states and European countries, and Dom Flamini, member of Dream Team Storage Group LLC. Flamini, like many other attendees, is a grassroots investor and developer on a more local scale. 
Kurt Conlon has directed more than 1 million square feet of self-storage development.  He holds a senior position with BETCO Inc., a single-source engineering and manufacturing firm, and also serves as director of Dream Team Storage Group LLC, an established focus group of industry professionals providing objective site analysis, feasibility, and construction and entitlement services for the development of self-storage. Conlon is an active member in several state associations. To reach him, call 603.321.9058; e-mail; visit

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