Craig Smith, an attorney who owns property-development firm Brookwood-Riverside LLC, plans to tear down a former coffee shop in downtown Baton Rouge, La., and build a three-story self-storage facility in its place. The property will be managed by CubeSmart, a self-storage real estate investment trust and third-party management company, and branded under its name. It’ll be the first climate-controlled storage facility in the area, according to the source.
Smith purchased the Community Coffee Co. roasting facility at 2151 N. Third St. for $775,000 in August. Just north of the Louisiana State Capitol building, the nearly 2.3-acre site contains an 80-year-old structure that had been vacant for two years, the source reported. “You hate to tear down an old building, but it was functionally obsolete,” said Mark Hebert of Kurz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate, the broker who represented Smith in the transaction.
The site’s location near new residential complexes made it attractive for self-storage development, Hebert said. “There isn’t any competition in the downtown market for something like this, and as downtown continues to grow with more residents, people are going to be looking for places to store their things. Also, a lot of offices need climate-controlled storage for their files, so it makes sense to be as close to downtown as you get.”
The seller was represented by Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate.
Smith is also CEO of Brookwood Properties, which operates 39 self-storage facilities under the CubeSmart and The Storage Center brands. The company has properties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. A new location is under construction in Prairieville, La., according to Hebert.
Malvern, Pa.-based CubeSmart owns or manages 868 self-storage facilities across the United States. Its operating portfolio comprises 58.7 million square feet.
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