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Investment Firm VanWest Partners Launches Self-Storage Fund With 2 Acquisitions

VanWest Partners, an investment firm specializing in residential and commercial real estate acquisition, management and sales, has formed VanWest Storage Fund I LLC with the acquisition of two self-storage facilities in Mary Esther and Pensacola, Fla. The fund’s primary focus is creating and maintaining investor wealth through local, alternative investments in self-storage real estate, according to a press release.

“We create value for investors and partners by acquiring undermanaged self-storage facilities, rebranding the facility, optimizing expenses and driving revenue growth,” said Jacob Vanderslice, managing partner of VanWest Partners.

VanWest intends to use the fund to acquire up to 12 self-storage facilities comprising about 400,000 net rentable square feet before closing the fund next year. Vanderslice expects the fund to have a $30 million capitalization comprised of $20 million in debt and $10 million in equity, he told the source. As of June 28, it had collected about $1.65 million in equity from 10 investors, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company purchased Florosa Self Storage at 2371 W. Highway 98 in Mary Esther and American Mini Self Storage at 801 S. Old Corry Field Road in Pensacola. Together, they comprise more than 85,000 square feet. VanWest plans to upgrade the sites with new technology and a new property-management platform.

The fund is pursuing facilities in the Midwest and Southeast with a minimum of 25,000 net rentable square feet and occupancy rates of at least 50 percent. Fund-owned facilities will be branded as ClearHome Self Storage, a management platform wholly owned by VanWest. Prior to the fund, the company owned five self-storage assets, the source reported.

“With a surge in new-supply deliveries peaking soon in markets like Portland, Nashville, Orlando and Seattle, we believe certain markets will loosen up and create acquisition opportunities in the next few years,” Vanderslice told the source.

The fund provides an investment opportunity that combines income, principal investment growth and elements of capital preservation, the release stated. Once it closes, VanWest will launch a second fund also aimed at self-storage investment, Vanderslice told the source.

VanWest Partners and its affiliates have invested more than $195 million in real estate, including 13 self-storage projects totaling more than 765,000 rentable square feet. These comprise multi-story ground-up developments, adaptive reuse and value-add to existing sites.

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