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Joint Venture Opens New Life Storage Facility in Long Island City, NY

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A joint venture between self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) Life Storage LP and Review Avenue Storage LLC, an affiliate of investment-management firm Equator Capital Management, has opened a self-storage facility in Long Island City, N.Y. Owned under Review Avenue Partners LLC, the property will be managed by Life Storage and rebranded under its name, according to a press release from The BSC Group LLC, the commercial real estate mortgage brokerage that arranged financing for the project.

Equator Capital acquired the property at 52-11 29th St. in 2015. The building site at the northeast corner of Review Avenue and 29th Street, near the Long Island Expressway and Midtown Tunnel, comprised 143,700 buildable square feet. It once housed a 24,363-square-foot, single-story warehouse but was purchased vacant for an undisclosed amount, according to a previous release. REIT Extra Space Storage Inc. was originally announced as the property manager.

"We are excited to be involved with such an attractive and well-located property in the NYC boroughs,” said Paul Powell, chief investment officer for Life Storage.

A $30 million finance package closed at Certificate of Occupancy. The package was arranged in conjunction with Locke Acquisition Group, which advises Life Storage on acquisitions, financing and joint ventures, the release stated. BSC arranged the mortgage financing with a “large money center bank.” The mini-perm loan features interest-only payments during lease-up and a variable interest rate spread over Libor.

Formed in 2009, BSC provides financial and loan advisory, mortgage brokerage, and loan-workout solutions to commercial real estate owners and investors, with a special emphasis on the self-storage market. Through its capital source network, the company provides access to debt and equity financing for commercial real estate investments nationwide.

Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Equator Capital has investments in real estate acquisitions, ground-up developments and “repositionings,” according to its website. It works with joint ventures, institutional partners and private investors.

Life Storage is the REIT formerly known as Sovran Self Storage Inc. Based in Buffalo, N.Y., it operates more than 650 self-storage facilities in 29 states under the Life Storage and Uncle Bob’s brands. Its portfolio of owned and managed facilities comprises more than 45 million square feet.

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