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September 21, 2022

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Heitman Invests in Ireland Self-Storage Operator U Store It to Fuel Expansion

Update 9/21/22 – Heitman’s joint venture with Irish self-storage operator U Store It includes an investment of €104 million for the operator’s existing locations and another €20 million for four development projects, including a new site under construction in Belfast, according to the source. The five-story project off Kennedy Way will offer up to 1,600 units. The facility is expected to open by year-end.

Heitman’s investment will also enable U Store It to seek further expansion throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, according to Karen Brennan, the operator’s head of sales and business development. “There’s expansion going on everywhere. It’s an exciting time,” Brennan told the source. “At the moment, the priority is trying to get the new site up and running and then looking at opportunities outside of Belfast to see what’s available to us. There’s definitely a demand. Because in Ireland it’s such a young sector, the biggest problem we would have is awareness.”

7/26/22 – Global real estate investment-management firm Heitman LLC has formed a joint venture with U Store It to expand the self-storage operator’s footprint across Ireland and Northern Ireland. The partnership will pursue the development of two new locations in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where U Store It currently has one facility, as well as Dublin, where it has three locations, according to a press release. The operator has two additional facilities in Cork and Waterford, Ireland.

“We are pleased to invest in the U Store It platform and to work with its local team to continue to build a best-in-class storage option in the Irish and Northern Irish markets,” said Caleb Mercer, managing director of European real estate investment for Heitman. “Self-storage remains an appealing real estate sector, experiencing significant demand as a result of the growing storage needs of individuals and businesses.”

“This is further evidence of Heitman’s long-term commitment to the European region, and more specifically to our extensive expertise in operational real estate,” said Tony Smedley, managing director and head of European private equity for Heitman. “Such capability ensures we can continue to originate attractive opportunities, grow our clients’ investments, and expand our reach across Europe.”

Heitman entered the self-storage industry in 1996 and manages more than $7 billion of assets worldwide. In the last two years, it’s acquired All Seasons Self Storage in Germany and Space Station Self Storage in the United Kingdom as part of its global diversification investment strategy.

“The U Store It platform is consistent with the thematic approach we are taking with our global strategy,” said Gordon Black, senior managing director and portfolio manager for Heitman. “As we execute our global investments, we continue to look to balance our portfolio across three themes: divergence or smart diversification among traditional property types, convergence or capitalization of maturing property types, and delinked or defensive, which involves investing in assets with traits less tied to economic cycles such as self-storage.”

Founded in 1966, Heitman has 10 offices worldwide and more than $52 billion in properties under management, according to its website.

Sources:
The Irish News, Irish Self Storage Group in Multi-Million Pound Northern Expansion
Heitman, Heitman Invests in Largest Irish Self-Storage Platform

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