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Metro Self Storage Celebrates 40th Anniversary, Expands to Brazil With MetroFit


Metro Self Storage, which operates more than 90 facilities in 11 states, is celebrating its 40-year anniversary. In addition, the company announced its expansion plans, including a new venture in Sao Paul, Brazil, and made a monetary donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The company was founded in 1973 by Karl F. Nagel, who opened The Vault in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, Ill. After rapid growth in the Chicago market for more than a decade, Nagel introduced the Metro Self Storage brand, supported by a new logo and image. In the late 80s, his sons, Matthew M. Nagel and K. Blair Nagel, joined the family business.

Over the next decade, the company experienced steady growth, as the number of facilities increased from eight to 42 in five midwestern states. In 1997, the brothers bought out their father’s interests and formed Metro Storage LLC. In 2004, the company sold 42 properties to a publicly traded real estate investment trust for $184 million.

Metro continues to build on the philosophy of its founder, said chairman Matt Nagel. “Our management principles remain the same. We are in the self-storage business to deliver a first-class experience to our storage customers. Organizational stability is key to us because we believe it helps us deliver the best possible customer experience. We surround ourselves with the most talented employees and outside advisors that we can find and we seek long-term relationships with them. We adapt our strategy to navigate all types of economic conditions. We have always done that, and it is a real strength.”

The Nagel brothers have aggressive plans for the future, according to a company press release. They recently formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Metro Storage International LLC (MSI), and a self-storage operating platform in Brazil, branded MetroFit. Plans are for MSI to add seven newly developed MetroFit self-storage facilities in São Paulo by the end of 2014. The first facility is slated to open by the end of the year. Domestically, Metro’s growth plans are to add more than 20 new stores in the next several years.

The Nagel brothers have continued their father’s legacy of commitment to delivering the best possible self-storage experience to their customers, a strong financial performance to investors, an excellent work environment for employees, and giving back to the communities in which it does business, company representatives said in a press release. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Metro Storage made a monetary donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children who have life-threatening medical conditions.

Metro Storage LLC, operating under the trademark Metro Self Storage, is a privately owned, fully integrated real estate operating company specializing in the development, acquisition and management of self-storage facilities nationwide. Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., with assets under management totaling $750 million, the company is the 11th largest self-storage in the United States, according to the Inside Self-Storage Top-Operators List.

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