A joint venture between real estate developers Joel DeSpain and Robert Wheless has secured financing for the development of Mason Road Self Storage in Richmond, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Wheless-DeSpain Interests LLC intends to build an 87,875-square-foot facility on 3.75 acres. The asset will include one two-story building and two single-story buildings, along with 11 rental spaces for boat/RV storage and 10 slots for typical vehicles, according to a press release from HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP), the commercial real estate and capital-markets services provider that arranged the joint-venture equity. The project is expected to be complete in 2017.
The project site is adjacent to Cinco Ranch, an 8,100-acre master-planned development rated among the “best-selling communities” in Texas and the United States by real estate advisory firm RCLCO, formerly Robert Charles Lesser & Co. The self-storage facility will be built on the last of five original commercial tracts formed in 1984. The Cinco Ranch land sale has been recognized as the largest land sale in Houston history, the release stated.
“The new state-of-the-art facility will be highly visible from the Westpark Tollway and will benefit from multiple ingress/egress access points, making it an ideal location for self storage,” said Barbara Guffey, director of HFF. “The lack of supply and pent-up demand within the self storage industry over the past decade has proven the asset class is a sound investment, with double-digit historic returns and strong underlying fundamentals.”
The equity capital will come from a private real estate fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital Real Estate, a Dallas-based asset manager that recently entered the self-storage sector with an investment strategy to develop new facilities and acquire existing properties. The HFF team who arranged the equity on behalf of the developers included Guffey, managing director Richard Schontz and associate director Matthew Weckesser.
DeSpain and Wheless have more than 60 years of combined experience in commercial real estate and previously worked together to develop 10 Houston-area projects totaling more than $280 million, according to the release. Those projects include one industrial development, five multi-family joint ventures, three office buildings and one retail center.
HFF and its affiliate, HFF Securities LP, are owned by HFF Inc. The firm operates out of 23 offices nationwide and specializes in advisory services, commercial-loan servicing, debt and equity placement, and investment and loan sales.