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Its Official: Bands to Be Banned at Sumter Self Storage

After a two-year battle with a local resident over the rental of storage units to bands as practice space, Sumter Street Mini Storage in Columbia, S.C., has stopped banging its drum. The Richland County zoning board sided with Clif Judy against the self-storage facility earlier this month, saying it could no longer rent units to bands for practicing music.
 
Facility fans were shocked to hear there will be no appeal, since the facility owners have spent $20,000 to defend themselves in the case. Judy persistently complained about the late-night noise.
 
Known by musicians as “the sheds,” the Sumter storage units have been in use by local bands since 1986. Popular rock band Hootie and the Blowfish practiced there.
 
Source: The Wall Street Journal, City Drums Out Garage Bands From a Haven

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Arrest Made in Virginia Self-Storage Arson Case

A 22-year-old man was has been arrested in connection with a fire that took place at AAAA Self-Storage in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sept. 24. The fire damaged seven units.
 
Joshua Hutchins was arrested after fire investigators analyzed video footage from the self-storage facility and followed several leads. The footage showed two men setting the fire.
 
Hutchins, who faces a felony charge of arson, is being held at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond. Other arrests may be made in the case.
 
Source: The Virginian-Pilot, Arrest made in self-storage arson case in Va. Beach

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HFF Closes Sale of Nine-Property Self-Storage Portfolio in Texas

The Houston office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) closed the sale of a nine-property self-storage portfolio with facilities in Austin (1), Dallas (2), Houston (5) and San Antonio (1), Texas. The portfolio was listed for $71 million. Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC of Chicago purchased it for an undisclosed price.

Built between 1994 and 1998, the properties comprise a total of 551,609 square feet and more than 5,300 units. HFF senior managing director Aaron Swerdlin and managing director Doug McCarron led the investment sales team on behalf of the seller. 
 
HFF operates out of 17 offices nationwide, providing commercial real estate and capital-markets services. 

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In Memoriam: David Lee Jones, aka Diamond Dave, 1950-2009

David Lee Jones, aka “Diamond Dave,” a manager for Mesa, Ariz.-based Storage Solutions, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 9.
 
Dave was born Dec. 14, 1950, in Long Beach, Calif., to Boyd and Jean Jones, and spent his childhood in California. After being drafted into the U.S. Army, he spent time in Korea and Vietnam and was honorably discharged in 1972. He spent time living in South Florida, where he built a career in the moving and storage business, working for Public Storage Inc. and U-Haul International. Nine years ago, he moved to Arizona, where he became part of the Storage Solutions management team.
 
Dave is survived by his wife, Stephanie, sister and brother-in-law Sandy and Brad, and their children, Kate, Nathan and Kelsey. He also leaves a great nephew, Jackson. 
 
People who knew Dave say that he loved people, accepted everyone for who they were and lived life to the fullest. His interests were sailing, the ocean, avionics, sports and thoroughbred horses. He will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues in the self-storage industry.

Self-Storage Reports: New Jersey Markets, REITs

Supnick Real Estate Co. of Mt. Laurel, N.J., has released two-self storage reports: a study of the New Jersey self-storage market and a detailed study of the performance of the four self-storage real estate investment trusts.
 
“New Jersey: Self-Storage in the Garden State” identifies areas in the state that are still ripe for potential self-storage development and why it is still a strong self-storage market. The REIT study looks at national self-storage companies Extra Space Storage Inc., Public Storage Inc., Sovran Self Storage and U-Store-It Trust Inc., particularly property performance, occupancy and revenue. Copies of both of the reports can be obtained by calling 856.722.1414.

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O'Neil Software Supports OC Ronald McDonald House

During its 2010 Strategic Partner Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 21-23, O’Neil Software Inc. will sponsor and partner with the Orange County Ronald McDonald House. The “House That Love Built” provides a comfortable and affordable home away from home for families with a child being treated at a nearby hospital.
 
The OC Ronald McDonald House accommodates up to 20 families. Since opening its doors in 1989, it has welcomed in excess of 10,000 families from more than 22 countries. More than 4,690 volunteers help keep the OC Ronald McDonald House doors open around the clock, 365 days a year.
 
O’Neil provides records-management hardware and software to more than 850 records centers worldwide, ranging from startups to multi-nationals. Its software manages and tracks multiple types of data, including storage boxes, file folders, documents and tapes.

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NCSSA Meets State Rep Wainwright About Self-Storage Sales Tax

On Oct. 28, the North Carolina Self Storage Association will host a meeting with North Carolina Representative William L. Wainwright (D) to discuss the harmful impact of a sales tax that will potentially be placed on self-storage. The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at the McGuireWoods Consulting office in Raleigh.

Self-storage operators who would like to attend should contact Whitney Bertram, executive director, at [email protected]. To assist the NCSSA in its fight against the sales-tax legislation, self-storage supporters are asked to contribute a PAC check payable to Rep. Wainwright.

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Real Storage to Build Multi-Story Self-Storage in Toronto

Real Storage Limited Partnership purchased land for a new multi-story self-storage development in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The project, currently in the design and permit phase, is the company’s initial entry to the Greater Toronto Area and Eastern Canada market. Construction will begin in spring 2010
 
The facility will have four stories and approximately 130,000 square feet of climate-controlled space, and incorporate several eco-friendly and energy-saving features. It will also offer a fully enclosed loading dock, video monitoring, security-access entrance and a retail office. The property increases the company’s overall operating portfolio to more than 450,000 square feet of net rentable area.  
 
Based in Calgary, Real Storage is a Canadian-owned partnership focused on the acquisition, development and management of self-storage facilities across Canada.

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Legitimacy of Planet Self Storage iPod Advertising Called Into Question

The legitimacy of a massive Apple iPod billboard hanging on the side of Planet Self Storage in the South End of Boston has been drawn into question. The Outdoor Advertising Board has opposed the signage since it went up in 2007, calling it “illegal” and demanding that it be taken down, according to an article in The Boston Globe. But the advertising remains in place, even though its one-year temporary permit expired last fall.
 
There is debate about whether Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s administration endorsed the oversized display, even though it normally discourages new billboards. Last week David Passafaro, the mayor’s campaign treasurer, acknowledged that he contacted the Boston Redevelopment Authority in 2007 to ask about the process to place the ad on behalf of Greg John, who assembled the ad deal.
 
John is chairman of a Charleston, Mass.-based branding firm and a regular Menino contributor. In 2007, he created Box I LLC to oversee the Apple ad and other deals. He told the Globe that he followed the process of securing a sign permit according to the law and Passafaro did not intervene on his behalf.
 
In June, the state attorney general’s office negotiated with the companies behind the ad, requiring that they request a new permit from the city and pay the state $110,000.

The iPod advertising is obscuring a 13,750-square-foot wall mural of whales. The owners of Planet Self Storage claim their ad is exempt from needing approval from the OAB because it promotes sales on the premises. The facility offers iTunes gift cards for sale. Even still, the owners are renovating to include a larger Apple retail space and satisfy the OAB. If it does not satisfy the board, the sign will have to come down in February.
 
Source: The Boston Globe, Apple gets to fly banner, despite rules

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Self-Storage Operating Performance: Fort Wayne, Ind.

Northeast Indiana is one of the fastest-growing regions in the state, with rapidly expanding business sectors such as manufacturing, technology, education, healthcare, hospitality and service industries. Fort Wayne’s geography makes it a natural Midwest manufacturing and transportation hub. A number of world-renowned businesses call Northeast Indiana their home.

A boom in economic development in the region and targeted programs related to workforce development has created a strong, fast-growing business climate in the area. Fort Wayne and the surrounding communities offer varied job opportunities. Northeast Indiana boasts an impressive collection of firms providing fiber-based network services that span most of the state. Wireless Internet services are now available in nearly every county. The area has a prime position as a national leader in broadband technology growth.

The accompanying charts demonstrate demographic, supply and operating statistics as of September 2009.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Self Storage Data Services Inc. publishes the ISS Flash Report, the Self-Storage Performance Index and other statistical data on self-storage operation. The company also reports on supply-and-demand factors affecting the industry. For more information, call 626.304.2920; visit www.ssdata.net.

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