Strategic Storage Trust Inc., the first and only non-traded real estate investment trust in the self-storage segment, is celebrating its three-year anniversary. The company has grown its portfolio to include 61 self-storage facilities in 16 states and Canada. Since its launch in March 2008, the company has raised more than $230 million in equity.
"This is an important milestone for our company. Three years ago, we started out with no assets, no liabilities and no shareholders in one of the worst economies in modern memory," said H. Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO. "In the midst of the financial meltdown, we saw opportunity and were able to build the company from zero to over $375 million in assets. I'd say we've started off in good form."
Last year, Schwartz was named one of "The Top 10 People to Watch" by National Real Estate Investor magazine, an authority in commercial real estate trends.
Strategic Storage Trust recently entered the international marketplace with its first self-storage acquisition in Canada totaling approximately $14 million and 1,060 units. The company is well-positioned to diversify and grow its portfolio, according to Schwartz. "We're raising money, we're acquiring properties, building a brand, creating partnerships, and if we keep investing in those tools, we hope to create value in the long term for our shareholders, he said.
The company launched a major re-branding campaign last year, with a goal of rebranding all of its properties under the name SmartStop Self Storage by the end of 2011. Strategic Storage Trust is also aiming to launch a SmartStop Application for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry users this year.
The Strategic Storage Trust portfolio includes approximately 41,000 self-storage units and 5.1 million rentable square feet of storage space. The companys sponsor is Strategic Capital Holdings LLC, which manages a growing portfolio of more than 7 million square feet of commercial properties, including 5.5 million square feet of self-storage, with a combined market value of more than $756 million.