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April 13, 2018

4 Min Read
Wasatch Sells Minnesota Self-Storage Conversions to Westport Properties

Update 4/12/18 – Additional details have been released on the two-property Minnesota self-storage portfolio acquired by WPI and Harrison Street. Previously, the number of reported units for both properties included RV parking spaces. The White Bear Lake facility at 1828 Buerkle Road comprises 83,624 square feet in 818 units and 104 parking spaces, while the Lake Elmo property at 9200 Hudson Blvd. comprises 620 units and 175 RV spots, according to a press release from JLL Capital Markets, the commercial real estate and finance firm that helped broker the deal.

“Both of these properties boast new, institutional-quality construction and prime, highly visible locations,” said broker Steve Mellon, who worked with colleague Brian Somoza on the sale. “The quality of this portfolio coupled with the overall health of the Twin Cities’ economy made this an attractive offering to investors.”

JLL is a full-service global provider of capital solutions for real estate investors and occupiers. The firm completed $145 billion in investment sale and debt and equity transactions globally in 2016. The firm’s Capital Markets team comprises more than 2,000 specialists globally.

3/27/18 – Wasatch has sold its two conversion projects to Westport Properties Inc. (WPI), which operates more than 120 self-storage facilities under the US Storage Centers brand. It’s WPI’s first foray into the Minnesota self-storage market, according to a press release. Both sites will be re-branded as US Storage Centers.

The White Bear Lake facility comprises 83,264 square feet of storage space in 922 units. The Lake Elmo location contains 69,038 square feet of storage in 790 units as well as 68,400 square feet of parking, the release stated. The properties were previously managed by CubeSmart, a self-storage real estate investment trust and management company.

“US Storage Centers was attracted to these two properties because of the asset quality and both locations being located in underserved self-storage submarkets with strong demographics,” said Charles Byerly, CEO and president of WPI.

WPI acquired the assets through a partnership with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC, a real estate investment-management firm focused on the education, healthcare and self-storage sectors. Headquartered in Chicago with an office in London, the company has approximately $13.7 billion in assets under management.

Founded in 1985 and based in Irvine, Calif., WPI is a real estate investment company that acquires, develops and operates self-storage facilities as well as provides third-party management services. Its portfolio comprises 8 million rentable square feet in 15 states.

11/15/16 Wasatch Storage Partners (WSP), a Utah-based real estate investment firm specializing in self-storage acquisitions and development, has purchased two warehouses in Lake Elmo and White Bear Lake, Minn., which it plans to convert to self-storage. It’s the company’s first foray into the Twin Cities storage market.

The vacant White Bear Lake property at 1828 Buerkle Road comprises 59,462 square feet of space. The former FedEx Ship Center will be renovated and expanded with a second floor totaling 120,000 square feet of climate-controlled space. It will also include 100 vehicle-parking spaces.

The Lake Elmo property at 9200 Hudson Blvd. includes 46,368 square feet of space. WSP will add another 35,000 square feet of storage, some of which will be climate-controlled, as well as 150 vehicle-parking spaces.

“We recognized a real need in White Bear Lake and Lake Elmo for both climate-controlled self-storage and secure RV space,” said CEO Bret Durfee. “The redevelopment of these facilities will bring much needed self-storage product to the community, and we are excited to introduce our unique platform to the Twin Cities.”

“The Twin Cities has few areas that are underserved for self-storage and properly zoned sites are rare,” said Max Holmes, an associate with Colliers International, Minneapolis-St. Paul, the broker who represented WSP in the transaction. “These properties were unique in that the submarkets were underserved and both were properly zoned for storage. Wasatch recognized [that] and seized the opportunity.”

Based in American Fork, Utah, WSP was formed in 2015 by Durfee and Scott Wyckoff, chief development officer, who were involved in acquisitions and development efforts at Extra Space Storage Inc., a real estate investment trust. They engaged in more than $1 billion in storage acquisitions and development projects across the country during their time with Extra Space, according to a company press release. WSP now has five sites under development in Arizona, Colorado, New York and Tennessee, and one facility already operating in Albany, N.Y. The company also offers self-storage consulting services.

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