Two self-storage operators have joined forces to buy and develop facilities in the Pacific Northwest.

Irvine, CA-based US Storage Centers and Vancouver, WA-based Iron Gate Properties announced the formation of Westport NW Management on March 13. The new company is assuming management of Iron Gate’s six facilities — five in Vancouver and one in nearby Beaverton, OR.

“They needed a company that had a portfolio and a management division in the Northwest, and I needed a company that had their expertise and employee backing,” said Glen Aronson, president and CEO of Iron Gate.

US Storage owns or manages 75 properties in 12 states.

“They are a much larger company than mine and much more savvy in managing their portfolio. It’s a structure that we can use and grow with as we acquire more properties,” Aronson said.

Aronson said the two companies pooled an unspecified amount of capital for the new venture, which he said is an equal partnership.

Ready, set, expand 

Aronson developed the first Iron Gate property in 1988. Now, his six-facility portfolio consists of 400,000 square feet. A seventh location is planned in Beaverton. The 87,000-square-foot, 458-unit facility — a warehouse conversion — is scheduled to break ground in December.

Under the joint venture, facilities in Washington and Oregon will carry the Iron Gate Storage brand name. Other facilities developed jointly will fall under the US Storage Centers umbrella. Potential markets for expansion include Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia, all in Washington; southern Oregon; and Idaho.

Aronson said the joint venture has some acquisitions pending, but he couldn’t divulge details.

Third-party management

In addition to expanding the number of owned and operated facilities, Westport NW Management is looking to offer third-party management services for self-storage operators in the region.

“One of the many benefits we provide for our third-party management clients is the ability to reach an operational scale through a larger platform such as revenue management or larger marketing budgets,” said Dave King, director of business development at US Storage Centers.

A little less than half of the US Storage Centers portfolio consists of managed facilities. Westport Properties Inc. is the parent company of US Storage Centers.

Alexander Harris