Morningstar Properties LLC, which operates self-storage facilities under the Morningstar Mini-Storage brand, has acquired the first two storage properties through its proprietary investment vehicle Blue Doors Storage Fund II. The facilities are in Birmingham, Ala., and San Antonio and comprise 135,000 square feet in 1,200 units, company officials said in a press release.
Blue Doors Storage Fund II is a $75 million, self-managed, institutional investment fund the company launched last fall. Morningstar intends to acquire and develop 35 properties through the fund during the next few years, officials said.
The facility at 1533 Montclair Road in Birmingham is the company’s first storage property in Alabama. The converted grocery store serves the Irondale and Mountain Brook neighborhoods and is near Trinity Medical Center. In addition to climate control, the facility offers enclosed units for RV storage. Amenities include work pods and an executive conference room.
The property at 6366 Babcock Road in San Antonio is Morningstar’s fourth in the city and ninth in Texas. It’s near the United Services Automobile Association, University of Texas at San Antonio and multi-family developments.
“These acquisitions are an exciting way to kick off Blue Doors Storage Fund II,” said Dave Benson, president of Morningstar Properties. “Our San Antonio acquisition builds our leverage and scale in a market where we have an existing presence, and the Mountain Brook addition is a great beachhead, with a class-A location and facility, for our entry into the Birmingham market. We will continue to invest through acquisition and development in the top [Metropolitan Statistical Areas] across the Sunbelt.”
Blue Doors Storage Fund II was launched through Morningstar’s private-equity real estate affiliate Blue Doors Capital Partners, an affiliated private-equity fund designated for acquisition and development of self-storage centers. Backed by a handful of institutional investors, the fund is the company’s second private-equity investment vehicle. It launched the $55 million Blue Doors Storage Fund I in February 2013.
Founded in North Carolina in 1981, Morningstar Properties is a vertically integrated developer, owner and operator of real estate products focused primarily on self-storage and marinas in the Southeast. The company has developed, acquired and operated more than 125 self-storage projects across the country, totaling more than 8.8 million square feet. It currently owns and operates 30 self-storage centers in eight states, with most concentrated in the South.