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Facility in the Spotlight: SmartStop Self Storage, Ladera Ranch, Calif.


SmartStop Self-Storage of Ladera Ranch, Calif., opened in July 2003. The property was purchased in July 2011 by Strategic Storage Trust Inc., which operates the SmartStop brand. It has 140,500 square feet, 114, 200 of which are rentable. Of the facility's 980 units, 390 are climate-controlled.

Steve Piazza is the facility manager. The site operates using STORE  self-storage management software by Centershift Inc. and access-control and security components from PTI Security Systems.

SmartStop Self Storage, Ladera Ranch, Calif. ***The facility design is a mission/ranch style with a large open office and retail area, high ceilings, and exposed beams. In addition to self-storage rentals, the facility also offers RV and boat storage, truck rental, and wine storage, which will soon be revitalized.

Plans for the wine-storage area include the creation of a cellar-type look and feel with stone-accented walls and wood-beam accents on the ceiling. Custom wood storage cabinets and climate-control monitoring devices will be installed to promote temperature consistency. In addition, Strategic Storage Trust plans to create a custom conference room that can double for private customer wine tastings, corporate meetings or field training. 


The Ladera Ranch location is Strategic Storage Trust’s flagship property, as it is close to the company’s headquarters. Discretely situated behind shopping centers and apartment complexes, the facility is tucked into the neighborhood and nestled into a hillside.

The target audience comes from a broad range of ZIP codes, some from as far away as Cote de Casa (north) and extending west to the 5 Freeway. A demographic study by the company shows the median income within a one-mile radius is $147,000, and the population within a three-mile radius is 62,700.

The company is taking a “hometown” approach to marketing, with the goal of attracting local small-business owners and families. The marketing plan includes personal marketing to apartment complexes, neighborhood community centers, restaurants, dry-cleaners and neighborhood churches along with the local chamber of commerce. The company’s participation in all things local has been a focus since it began managing the property in April.

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