SmartStop Self Storage, a storage operator being purchased by Extra Space Storage for $1.4 billion, has broken ground on a combination sports complex, storage facility and office space in its hometown of Ladera Ranch, CA.

The $32.6 million solar-powered Ladera Sports Center (artist’s rendering at top) is expected to open by July 2016.

The 120,000-square-foot complex will be built on about 4 acres next to SmartStop’s 100,000-square-foot flagship storage facility.

The cornerstone of the project will be a 60,000-square-foot gym, which will be open to the public. The gym will feature eight full-size basketball and volleyball courts, study rooms for students, a nearly 3,400-square-foot strength and conditioning space, and gym offices.

“Our main priority was to consider the needs of student-athletes by creating a safe, convenient home gym where they can coordinate their study time and workout sessions,” said Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO of SmartStop.

Ladera Sports Center
The Ladera Sports Center will feature eight full-size basketball and volleyball courts.

Other highlights of the complex include:

  • A 42,000-square-foot storage facility with about 230 units.
  • An expansion of the SmartStop facility next door.
  • More than 15,000 square feet of offices for an expansion of SmartStop’s headquarters.
  • A private fitness center.

Steve Williams, director of the Team Nikos Basketball Academy, has been tapped to run the Ladera Sports Center. The center will be the academy’s new headquarters and training facility.

Team Nikos Basketball Academy
The Team Nikos Basketball Academy will occupy the Ladera Sports Center.

“My family has lived in Ladera Ranch for more than 13 years, and we strongly believe in this community,” Schwartz said. “This new sports facility will create additional jobs and generate more visitors to retail and restaurants with the goal of placing Ladera Ranch on the map.”

In mid-June, Extra Space, a Salt Lake City, UT-based self-storage REIT, announced plans to buy SmartStop for $1.4 billion. The deal would give Extra Space ownership of 121 SmartStop facilities, as well as management of 43 facilities owned by SmartStop’s related investment funds.

Eight properties owned by SmartStop are excluded from the deal: one facility in California, two facilities in Alabama and five facilities in Toronto.

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John Egan