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November 1, 2007

4 Min Read
World View

Public Storage to Develop Canadian Property

Public Storage Canadian Properties, owner of self-storage facilities in four provinces, acquired a parcel of land in Oakville, Ont., for $6.8 million, reported The Canadian Press in August. The company will develop the property into a self-storage operation to be managed by Canadian Mini- Warehouse Properties Co. The company said it intends to develop about 40 percent of the 10-acre property and sell the rest to interested developers for other uses. The acquisition was funded from the partnerships credit facility.

Australias Storage Industry Lauds Expo 2007

The inaugural Storage Expo, Aug. 30-31, on Queenslands Gold Coast was hailed a success by some of the local industrys leading players. More than 140 storage professionals attended the show, which featured a number of new-product releases and informative presentations by Australian and U.S. operators. Speakers included Ross Lampe of SMD Software, Rick McGee of CallMAXimizer and Kat Shenoy of E-Soft Sys. In his keynote address, Dallas Dogger, CEO for Centreforce and organizer of the event, commented on the excellent prospects for self-storage over the next 20 years.

Space Maker Acquired by Babcock & Brown

Jones Lang LaSalle Corporate Finance of London announced completion of the sale of the Space Maker Group, a U.S.-backed self-storage business, to Babcock & Brown for approximately £63 million. The Space Maker Group was established in 2000 by property entrepreneurs David Hicks and Dougald McLachlan. It currently operates 10 centers across England totaling approximately 480,000 square feet of space. The business employs 50 staff members, primarily in London and the Southeast England, with one center in Leeds.

Storage Company Franchises Throughout New Zealand

In a first-ever move for a Kiwi-owned storage company, Smartbox will franchise its operation throughout New Zealand. Developed specifically for that market by entrepreneurs Jonelle and Steve Phillips, Smartbox delivers a storage unit measuring 13 cubic meters to the customers home or business location for as little as $5 per day. The unit is collected two days later for storage at a Smartbox location.

Self-Storage Insurance Battle Begins for Market Share

U.K. insurance company Insurastore, owned by self-storage magnate Paul Maddicott, launched its specialty self-storage insurance in September, Response Source reported. In the first month of the companys trial, it reportedly surpassed its anticipated online sales by 1,000 percent. The company claims to offer savings of up to 61 percent on self-storage insurance. The U.K. self-storage industry is reportedly growing at an annual rate of 10 percent to 15 percent.

Steel Storage Receives $45,000 Development Grant

Steel Storage in Australia has been awarded a $45,000 Queensland Industry Development Scheme grant to build up its next-generation Streamline construction system, the company reported in August. The project has been in development for more than two years, and Steel Storage has collaborated with Prodex Systems, which specializes in strategic and operational management of new-product development. The patented new system incorporates a redesigned channel and insert that eliminates dust buildup, while removing sharp edges and fixings in self-storage facilities.

Singapore Storage Booms and Rents Rise

Self-storage companies in Singapore are reporting a rise in rentals by foreigners, as increasing residential rents force more of them to downsize, The Electric New Paperreported in August. One storage company, Lock+Store, has doubled its number of expatriate clients compared to several months ago. About 10 percent to 20 percent of its 1,200 units at Tanjong Pagar Distripark are now rented by emigrants. Market leader Storhub has seen a jump in numbers mainly at its Changi outlet. Another facility, Store-It!, has seen its foreign clientele rise from 10 percent to 15 percent in the past year.

Military Ordinance Found in Australian Storage Unit

Police and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are investigating a cache of military ammunition found in an abandoned self-storage unit in Embleton, Australia, The West Australian reported in September. Police said the ordinance was discovered by the buildings owner. The area was temporarily cordoned off while ADF explosive experts removed the ammunition. The facility owner opened the unit after being unable to contact the customer, who had been delinquent with his rent for some time. The tenant is believed to be a former member of the ADF who accumulated the ammunition while serving with the armed forces. He is being sought by police for questioning.

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