Store First, the self-storage brand of U.K.-based real estate developer Group First, has experienced a record year for rentals and expects its operating portfolio to reach 1.5 million rentable square feet this year, according to a press release. The company’s leasable space is currently at more than 1.4 million square feet, with a new facility scheduled to open in St. Helens, England, before the end of the year.
“It’s been another phenomenal year for Store First, as we continue to introduce our refreshing approach to self-storage to more and more parts of the [United Kingdom],” said Oliver Kitson, operations director for Store First.
As part of its expansion plan, the company will debut its first self-storage location in London in 2016, bringing its number of locations to 15. “There’s huge demand to expand into London because of the great foundations we’ve established by becoming the U.K.’s largest privately owned storage provider,” said Toby Whittaker, managing director of Group First. “We’re excited to take it to the next level by bringing Store First to the capital.”
Store First announced an aggressive expansion plan last year through which it intends to open 75 self-storage facilities in the U.K. by 2020. It had previously planned to grow its storage footprint to 50 properties by that time. It currently has six properties under development, according to the company website.
Headquartered in Padiham, England, Store First has 12 facilities in England, mostly in the Northwest region, and one in Scotland. The company’s model blends traditional self-storage units with full business amenities for small enterprises, including use of P.O. boxes, free WiFi and private meeting rooms. Site amenities include office facilities, breakout areas, packaging and shipping services, complimentary moving services, and reception areas. Security includes closed-circuit television, coded electric gates and perimeter fencing.
Group First’s property portfolio includes residential, business, self-storage and vehicle-storage assets.