Former Kmart in Saginaw Township, MI, Targeted for Self-Storage Conversion

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Dealpoint Merrill, a subsidiary of The Merrill Group of Cos., a privately held real estate development and property-management firm, has purchased the vacant Baytown Plaza shopping center in Saginaw Township, Mich., including a former Kmart it intends to convert to a self-storage facility. The company also plans to add outdoor boat and RV storage behind the building, according to the source.

The plaza, at 4327-4767 Bay Road, was built in 1975. The Kmart building comprises 97,645 square feet and has been vacant since 2006. The self-storage facility will include climate control, a business center, shipping services, truck rentals, private mail boxes and moving supplies, said Danielle Watson, communications director for Dealpoint.

Dealpoint was attracted to the property due to its high traffic counts and proximity to nearby shopping, residential areas and the world headquarters of The Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich. “It's high growth potential because of the regional mall,” Watson told the source. “The whole area is starting to expand, so we look at that. We have to make sure the property is going to justify self-storage."

Although Dealpoint has not yet submitted its self-storage plans to the township, Bridget Smith, assistant director of community development, said she was encouraged by the project. "I think it's a good fit for the area, especially with college students, the medical school in the city,” she said. “We get a number of calls from people looking for a place to store boats, classic cars, recreational vehicles all the time."

The Saginaw acquisition was one of three recent property transactions closed by Dealpoint, including the May purchase of American Mini Self-Storage in Tucson, Ariz. The 53,401-square-foot facility was acquired through a partnership with Realty Mogul and Platinum Storage Group, according to a Dealpoint press release. The Tucson property has been approved for expansion this year, company officials said.

The Merrill Group of Cos. manages more than 2 million square feet of office and retail assets throughout the nation. Dealpoint executives have acquired more than $2 billion in assets and attracted more than $1 billion in equity for commercial real estate investments, according to the company website.

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