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Fire Breaks Out at Pittsford Mini Self-Storage

Fire raged through Pittsford Mini Self-Storage in Pittsford, N.Y., this morning around 3:30 a.m. Firefighters said the blaze started in the main building, and they were able to contain it to about 10 units. Pittsford Fire Department received assistance from four other FDs, who helped them quench the fire in about 20 minutes. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
 
Source: R News, Fire Damages Pittsford Storage Facility

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Free Webinar Focuses on Self-Storage Properties in Financial Distress

The changes in the way financial institutions lend on commercial projects combined with the drop in value of many self-storage properties is causing some facility owners to be upside down in their loans. Those with a note coming due in the near future can learn about their options during a free webinar titled “Is Your Self-Storage Facility in Distress? Financial Options for a Tough Economy.” The live event will take place on July 14 at 11:30 ET and is hosted by Inside Self-Storage.  
 
Part of the ISS Legal Learning Series, the online seminar will be presented by industry legal expert Jeffrey Greenberger and Neal Gussis, principal of Beacon Realty Capital. They will discuss important issues of self-storage finance and strategies for coping with economic changes. Self-storage owners, investors and managers are encouraged to attend and understand the true state of their assets in these difficult times.

The webinar is sponsored by Bader Co., an Indianapolis-based provider of commercial and tenant insurance programs for the self-storage industry.
 
For more information and to register for the webinar, visit www.insideselfstorage.com/webinars.
 
Greenberger is a partner in the law firm of Katz, Greenberger & Norton LLP in Cincinnati, where he focuses his practice on commercial real estate, with a particular concentration in self-storage. In addition to assisting facility owners and operators through legal representation and consulting, he is the legal advisor to several state self-storage associations. He is also a frequent contributor to ISS magazine and expos.
 
Gussis joined Beacon in 2000 and has been a principal with the firm since 2003. He is one of the self-storage industry’s best-known finance executives and a frequent speaker at self-storage conferences. During his career, he has secured more than $1 billion in self-storage financing for client transactions nationwide.

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Six-Inch Cinco Bollard Cover

Detroit-based Ideal Shield, a manufacturer of bumper-post sleeves,has released its popular 10-inch Cinco Bollard Cover in a new six-inch option. The cover accommodates a wider variety of bollard sizes without requiring an insert for secure installation. The cover has five distinctive rings around the top for an updated, distinctive look.
 
Ideal Shield’s decorative bollard covers also come in architectural, metro, pawn and ribbed styles. Standard colors include OSHA yellow, red, dark green, architectural brown and dark gray. Custom colors and designs are available upon request. 


Ideal Shield’s new six-inch Cinco Bollard Cover in use at The Dequindre Cut Greenway, near the River Walk in Detroit, Mich.

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Stolen Records Case Unfolds in Denver

A man who stored hundreds of real and forged documents, drug paraphernalia, cell phones and video cameras in a self-storage unit in Denver returns to court this month to face charges of identity theft, forgery and theft of medical records. Paul Simmons, 46, was allegedly using the materials to create fake drivers' licenses, Social Security cards and checks. His stash was discovered in January when he failed to pay his self-storage rent and his goods were auctioned.

Simmons denies any involvement in the identity-theft operation, but Dawn Philbin, a 51-year-old hospital worker, claims Simmons pressured her to steal documents from San Anthony Central, where she worked for five years. She also has pleaded not guilty to identity theft, though she admitted to taking the hospital records and giving them to Simmons.
 
Simmons returns to court on May 15. Philbin has a depositions motions hearing on June 22 in Denver District Court.
 
Source: 9 News Denver/ KUSA TV, Hospital worker pleads not guilty in theft of patient records

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Brothers Arrested for Self-Storage Breakin Attempt

Two brothers were arrested in Vicksburg, Miss., for an attempted burglary at Magnolia Self Storage. Shaun Neihaus, 30, and Bryan Neihaus, 20, were seen attempting to break locks on storage units by the facility owner, who notified police. The perpetrators were arrested on Saturday afternoon and charged with attempted business burglary. Shaun was released from the Warren County Jail on a $20,000 bond, and Bryan was released on a $15,000 bond.
 
Source: The Vicksburg Post, Brothers held in attempts to break into storage

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Big Yellow Self Storage Launches Social-Media Competition

Big Yellow Self Storage will be running a competition to offer motivated users of social media the chance to win a one-month paid internship with the company, which was recently listed in the Sunday Times “100 Best Companies to Work For 2009.” The position will offer valuable experience working with the company’s online communications team to launch a highly classified summer campaign.

Those entering the search will be taking part in the world’s first ‘speed-video job interview,’ for which Big Yellow has teamed up with video micro-blogging specialist 12seconds.tv. The right candidate will be able to sell himself via an online interview that lasts no longer than 12 seconds.

The search is open to anyone over the age of 18 and eligible to work in the United Kingdom. Interested candidates should visit http://12seconds.tv/campaign/bigyellowselfstorage. The closing date for entries is May 30, and the winner will be announced on June 15.

Source: Media Syndicate, Big Yellow Self Storage Launches Search for the Next Social Media Guru

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PA Musician Releases Album Written in Storage Unit

Musician Greg Koons is getting ready to release a new album, with many of the songs written in his unit at a U-Haul self-storage facility in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Koons rented a unit at the facility during 2006-2007 because the rent was low, and he could play there undisturbed. A couple of rock bands used the facility to practice, he said. Koons, a singer/songwriter/guitarist, did occasionally get looks from other renters, he said, but sometimes they would stop and listen to him play.
 
The alternative-country album, "Welcome to the Nowhere Motel,” will be released on June 23 on Kealon Records. Its 11 songs tell stories about ordinary people caught in difficult circumstances.
 
Koons and his band, the Misbegotten, will perform during a CD release party at the Chameleon Club's Lizard Lounge on Saturday night.
 
Source: Lancaster Online, Out of storage and onto the stage with Greg Koons and the Misbegotten

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East London Residents Irate Over Self-Storage Facility

Residents of an East London neighborhood are irate over the construction of a self-storage facility they believe will be an eyesore. Many opposed the project from the beginning, but their anger intensified when the developer was given the green light to build 5,700 square meters.
 
The city council approved the zoning changes that allowed the facility to be built after city staff said they'd ensure the development would blend in with the surrounding homes. Features such as peaked roofs, brick and stucco walls and extensive landscaping were promised, but so far, the project sports metal walls, flat roofs and no room for landscaping. The developer, RKJ Storage Inc., claims development is not yet finished and the touches are forthcoming.
 
Councilperson Nancy Branscombe, chairperson of the city's planning committee, has heard a number of complaints and believes the problem should be corrected. The committee has asked city planners to investigate and report. No more building permits will be issued until the matter is resolved, Branscombe said.
 
Source: The London Free Press, Residents rage over self-storage depot

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Watchtower Self-Storage Built in Sango, Tenn.

Tom Cunningham of Storage Systems LLC is in the process of building Watchtower Self-Storage, a new, 90,000-square-feet storage facility in Sango, Tenn. The initial investment is about $2 million, with financing provided by Heritage Bank. The facility will be different from what customers would typically see, Cunningham said.

Clark & Associates Architects designed the building with a brick exterior to look more like a retail establishment. Amenities will include climate control, 24-hour controlled access, individual alarm systems, RV/boat storage and a retail center for moving-related products.
 
Phase I will include 57,000 square feet, with the remaining space to follow. Capco Steel of San Antonio, Texas, will furnish materials and erect the buildings.
 
Source: Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, Sango to See New Self-Storage Option

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Fitch Downgrades and Places Sovran Self Storage on Rating Negative Watch

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the Issuer Default Rating and outstanding credit ratings of Sovran Self Storage Inc. and Sovran Acquisition Limited Partnership. The ratings have also been placed on Rating Watch Negative.

The downgrade centers on the fact that the leverage covenants contained in the company’s unsecured debt agreements limit the its liquidity and restrict its financial flexibility. Per a regulatory filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 6, Sovran noted that these leverage ratio covenants limit total consolidated liabilities to 55 percent of gross asset value. As of March 31, this ratio was 55.4 percent. As of April 30, the company believes it is in compliance with the original covenant provision.

Presuming the company receives a waiver regarding this covenant breach, Fitch is concerned the company will continue to have limited availability to draw its unsecured revolving credit facility. Fitch estimates the company will have the ability to draw an additional $10 million on this $125 million facility before breaching the leverage ratio covenant.

Further, Fitch said Sovran may also violate this covenant in the future if property-level fundamentals continue to weaken. Sovran expects a decline in same-store net operating income of 2 percent to 4 percent for 2009. A decline of NOI within this range would likely result in a breach of the leverage-ratio covenant.

For the covenants to no longer constrain the company's ability to draw on its unsecured credit facility, Fitch believes Sovran would need to de-lever via asset sales or a common equity issuance.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site at all times.

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