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National Storage Affiliates Trust Acquires 27-Property Store Here Self-Storage Portfolio

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National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSAT), a Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in self-storage, has acquired a 27-property portfolio spanning six states from Store Here LLC, a joint venture between self-storage operator Store Here Management LLC and real estate investment firm Westport Capital Partners LLC. The portfolio, with facilities in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana and Texas, comprises 1.7 million square feet in 12,171 units, according to SpareFoot Storage Beat, an industry blog. All sites were branded under the Store Here name, according to a press release from HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP), the commercial real estate and capital-markets services firm that helped broker the deal.

The portfolio was 80.6 percent occupied at the time of purchase. Properties include climate-controlled and traditional units, gated access, security cameras, and RV parking, the release stated.

“The quality of the assets, embedded upside and, most of all, the economy of scale is what attracted numerous investors to the portfolio,” said Barbara Guffey, senior director at HFF. “The ability to acquire 1.7 million square feet in one transaction aligns with the buyer’s strategic growth plan, and provides an opportunity to implement and capitalize upon their operational platform.”

NSAT hasn’t publicly announced the acquisition, though it referenced the purchase of 28 self-storage properties after Sept. 30 in its third-quarter financial release. The assets were purchased for $174.5 million and comprise 1.8 million square feet. The REIT has been very active in pursuing acquisitions. During the quarter, it purchased 19 storage facilities in nine states for $123.8 million. Those properties comprise 1.3 million rentable square feet.

Westport, which entered the self-storage industry through its joint venture with Store Here, announced the sale on Oct. 19 but didn’t name the buyer. The partnership amassed all 27 properties between March 2014 and March 2017, including the November 2014 purchase of 13 facilities in Georgia, Kansas and Texas for $48 million.

“In less than three years, we were able to execute a bold plan. We believed we could assemble a well-positioned portfolio of properties with high value upside,” said James J. Hanrahan, acquisitions director for RHW Capital Management Group LLC, the parent company to Store Here Management. “Working alongside Westport Capital Partners, we applied our seasoned storage experience and have proven to be a viable force in the industry.”

“The sale is the culmination of hard work and belief in a vision that the market would have a strong appetite for our portfolio,” said Russel Bernard, managing principal at Westport.

The joint venture intends to build another portfolio, with a plan to acquire two to five storage properties annually during the next five years, Hanrahan told the blog.

Guffey and fellow senior director Tom Doyle represented the joint venture in the sale. They were assisted by senior managing directors John Merrill and Jason Nettles, and managing directors Sean Fogerty and Jules Sherwood.

HFF and its affiliate, HFF Securities LP, are owned by HFF Inc. The firm operates out of 22 offices nationwide and specializes in advisory services, commercial-loan servicing, debt and equity placement, and investment and loan sales.

Westport provides domestic and international investment opportunities to institutional and private clients. The firm invests in a wide variety of real estate assets through its various funds. It has offices in Bozeman, Mont., Los Angeles, London and Wilton, Conn.

Store Here Management, a division of RHW, includes an acquisition and analysis division that focuses on the self-storage industry. It owns and manages 19 storage facilities in seven states. RHW plans to expand the Store Here brand through property acquisitions and management contracts, company officials said in a press release.

Headquartered in Greenwood, Colo., NSAT is a self-administered and -managed REIT focused on the acquisition, operation and ownership of self-storage properties within the top 100 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas throughout the United States. The company has ownership interest in 512 storage facilities in 29 states. Its portfolio comprises approximately 32 million net rentable square feet. It's owned by its affiliate operators, who are contributing their interests in their self-storage assets over the next few years as their current mortgage debt matures.

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