January 2, 2007

6 Min Read

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N.J. Storage Operators Feel the (Tax) Pain

Self-storage operators in New Jersey, who had to start charging a 7 percent sales tax on storage rentals on Oct. 1, are feeling the pain of lost business and dissatisfied customers. An article by PressOfAtlanticCity.com included an interview with Charles Sapienzo, owner of CNS Self Storage in Galloway Township, N.J., who said he lost 10 percent of his customers as a result of the new levy. He also had to get a second job to pay his property taxes. Customers tell him they cant afford their self-storage rent with the new tax. Others want to leave the state altogether.

Other businesses are also feeling the burn, including health clubs, private investigators, tattoo parlors and massage therapists. The tax change is part of a new state budget passed in July.

The New Jersey Self Storage Association is fighting the tax in court, asking facilities to donate to the NJSSA Legal Defense Fund and to share statistics on how many customers they are losing and what size units people are giving up.

The association argues the tax is unconstitutional because it singles out self-storage, the only sector of the commercial real property market affected, and violates clauses of the 14th Amendment. As of press time, a federal judge had declined jurisdiction of the challenge, and NJSSA attorneys planned to take their case to the state courts. Timely updates are posted at www.njssa.org

Real Estate Forum Offered on Free CD

An audio recording of the Fall 2006 Self-Storage Forum, a semiannual program in which industry leaders share insights about the real estate market, is now available on CD at no charge. The forum was hosted in Las Vegas by Beacon Realty Capital, LaSalle Bank, Self Storage Data Services (SSDS) and Storage Investment Advisors (SIA).

Session presenters were Beacon Principal Neal Gussis, LaSalle Vice President of Real Estate Capital Markets Ashish Parikh, SSDS President Ray Wilson and SIA Managing Partner Aaron Swerdlin. Moderated by Bruce Manley, chief executive officer of United Stor-All Centers, the interactive discussion covered topics including:

  • Lending and valuation differences in A-, B- and C-level property assets.

  • Whether the storage industry is on the verge of another development cycle.

  • Macroeconomic trends and their corresponding effects on the self-storage industry.

  • The growth of institutional investment in self-storage properties.

To obtain the free audio CD, contact SIA Associate Partner Jennifer Munoz at 713.376.2038; [email protected]. The next Self-Storage Forum will be at the ISS Expo in Las Vegas in February. Info: www.siallp.com

ISS Renews Legal Webinars for 2007: Try It, Its Easy

The Legal Learning Webinar Series, hosted by Inside Self-Storage and industry expert Jeff Greenberger, has been renewed for 2007 with a fresh slate of topics (see below) focusing on a wide range of self-storage legal issues. Webinars are hosted the first Tuesday of every month, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, moderated by Teri Lanza of ISS.

Havent tried a webinar yet? Its easy. To register, visit www.insideselfstorage.com/webinars. Reminders will be sent to you by e-mail, including one that arrives the morning of the seminar. Attendees are invited to click on the link, which takes them to the webinar website displaying slides and playing a live audio of Lanza and Greenberger. Those who prefer to listen to the broadcast over the telephone may call a toll-free phone number provided in the e-mail with a code.

Participants may type in legal questions on the webinar page, which are immediately submitted to Greenberger to answer during the latter part of the webinar.

  • Jan. 9Words to Abolish From Your Self-Storage Vocabulary 

  • Feb. 13Limitation on Value Clauses for the Self-Storage Lease

  • March 13Before the Self-Storage Lien Sale: The Big Gut Check

  • April 10Self-Storage Late Fees and Other Fees: Still Dangerous Waters

  • May 8The Self-Storage Bailment: Whats Wrong With Keeping Keys?

  • June 12Special Considerations for Vehicle Storage in a Self-Storage Environment

Greenberger practices with the law firm of Katz, Greenberger & Norton LLP in Cincinnati, which represents owners and operators of commercial real estate, including self-storage. He counsels several state storage associations. He is also the owner of an online resource for facility owners, www.selfstoragelegal.com. Info: 513.721.5151; e-mail [email protected]

ISS Welcomes Cartoonist in 2007

Adventures in Storage, a cartoon by self-storage manager John Roser, is a new monthly feature in Inside Self-Storage magazine. Roser and his wife, Barbara, entered the industry about two years ago as a resident management team and soon became regional managers. Today they operate and manage A-A-A Storage facilities in Corpus Christi, Texas.

We were first attracted to the concept of self-storage management by the opportunity to spend more time together, says Roser, who has degrees in theology and pastoral ministry. We soon discovered other benefits which included the chance to hone our entrepreneurial skills. Our future plans are to be on the investor side of a facility.

Readers are welcome to e-mail Roser with ideas and feedback at [email protected], or send their comments to ISS at storage [email protected]

Chicago Sale Spotlights Storage Market

Self-storage is appreciated as a popular commercial-property asset class, according to an Oct. 25 Chicago Tribune article reporting on the sale of seven Chicago-area self-storage facilities for $52.5 million.

The sale of 500,000 square feet of rentable space commanded a solid price although several of the facilities are new and still in lease-up. A co-owner of six of the facilities said long-term appreciation and cash flow make the numbers work.

The buyer of the facilities is OB Companies Inc., a Florida-based real estate company that develops and operates commercial properties. Marc Boorstein, principal of MJ Partners Real Estate, told the Tribune that selling such new properties is unusual for the industry.

Announces New Board, Officers

Texas Self Storage Association raised a record $41,000 for charity at its 2006 annual convention, Texas Store Em, Sept. 24-27 in Galveston. Attendees and exhibitors, numbering an estimated 800, contributed through live/silent auctions and a poker tournament at Moody Gardens hotel. Funds were donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston. Since 1999, TSSA has raised more than $100,000 for the burn hospital.

The TSSA 2007 convention is set for Oct 14-17 in Arlington. The association also recently announced new officers:

  • President: Lolita Bader, A Better Place Self Storage (Boerne) 

  • Vice President: Kathy Tautenhahn, Tautenhahn Holdings (Shenandoah) 

  • Treasurer: Rick Jones, Advantage Self storage (McKinney) 

  • Secretary: Dan Small, Diamond Self Storage Management (Pearland) 

  • Immediate Past President: Wayne Johnson, U.S. Advisors (Dallas) New and reelected directors of the TSSA board:

  • Clay Cullins, Janus International 

  • Mike Gately, Hendry Investments 

  • Joshua Parrott, AAA Mini Storage 

  • Kathy Tautenhahn, Amazing Spaces Self Storage. Info: www.txssa.org

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