George Dean "Geordy" Johnson III, CEO of self-storage real estate developer Johnson Development Associates Inc., issued a statement this week calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in Charleston, S.C. Johnson spoke on behalf of South Carolina-based Johnson Management and its affiliated companies, including self-storage operator American Storage Rental Spaces, whose locations are managed by real estate investment trust CubeSmart.
"We support the immediate removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. In order for South Carolina to truly flourish, we must create a welcoming environment for all people and companies that live here and those who seek to contribute to the prosperity of our state,” Johnson said. “We can maintain pride in South Carolina through tolerance and solidarity. The removal of this flag is a step in the right direction."
The statement is one of many issued by corporate leaders and politicians who have called for an end to official state use of the Confederate flag following the murder of nine African-Americans last week, who were attending a Bible-study session inside a historic black church in Charleston. Among the dead was Clementa C. Pinckney, a senior pastor and state senator.
Suspected gunman Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white male, faces nine counts of murder in state court and could be charged with a federal hate crime. The FBI has concluded “with a high degree of certainty” that Roof posted a racist manifesto online, which could be used as evidence by federal prosecutors if the Justice Department pursues such legal action, according to “The New York Times.”
Johnson Development operates in the Southeast. Its development portfolio of commercial and industrial properties includes self-storage facilities, multi-family rental communities and single-tenant industrial space.
American Storage Rental Spaces has 22 self-storage properties in South Carolina including five in Charleston. It also has five facilities in Georgia and four in North Carolina. Its portfolio is managed under the CubeSmart name.
Other affiliated companies of Johnson Management include American Credit Acceptance, Haven Apartment Communities, JDA West LLC, OTO Development and WJ Partners.