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Boardwalk Development Group Launches $50M Investment Fund for Self-Storage Acquisitions


Update 8/23/17 – BDG has acquired Smallwood’s Home & Garden Center in Cumming, Ga., with the intent to convert it to self-storage. The property at 2168 Canton Highway was purchased through Fund I and is adjacent to Boardwalk Storage – Friendship, the fund’s first asset. BDG plans to build a two-story, climate-controlled facility comprising 46,000 square feet, according to a press release. Combined with the existing facility, the assets will offer74,000 net rentable square feet and nearly 70 covered parking spaces on 5.5 acres.

“The redevelopment of Smallwood’s into a self-storage facility will bring Boardwalk Storage – Friendship up to institutional-grade quality, adding value to the asset and the fund,” Sheth said.

BDG officials believe the Cumming market is poised for increased storage demand. It is part of Forsyth County, which was the seventh fastest-growing county in the United States, according to 2014 census figures. The average household income for 2016 in the five-mile radius around the Cumming property was $116,317, the release stated.

4/4/16 – Boardwalk Development Group LLC (BDG), a self-storage acquisition and development company, has launched a $10 million equity-investment fund called Boardwalk Storage Fund I LLC, which the company intends to leverage to purchase $50 million in self-storage properties, company officials said in a press release. Launched in January, the fund will focus on properties between $2 million and $8 million in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the “SpareFoot Storage Beat,” a self-storage industry blog.

“Our goal is to create a geographically focused portfolio of [real estate investment trust]-quality self-storage assets and increase value by expanding the footprint of each property to meet growing market demand,” Rajen J. Sheth, CEO, said in a released statement. “We have significant experience and have developed a successful track record in self-storage acquisitions and creating portfolio value. We look forward to doing it again.”

Once properties are acquired, the fund will invest in improving the customer experience at each facility by upgrading the gate and security-camera system, the management office, online services, and website functionality. BDG will also add 24-hour, onsite “rental centers,” the release stated.

“Industry research shows that customers look for and make a decision on where to store based in part on the quality of the facility, the look and feel of it, the office and its environment, and the manager behind the desk, in addition to location,” Sheth told the source. “That’s a value-add that we’re looking to do in our fund.”

BDG is headquartered in Johns Creek, Ga. Sheth previously launched the ValueSpace Storage Fund I in 2008, selling it last year to SecurCare Self Storage, one of seven participating regional operators of National Storage Affiliates Trust, a self-administered and -managed real estate investment trust headquartered in Greenwood, Colo. The sale generated returns of 110 percent for investors, according to the release.


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