Public Storage has made its first acquisition of 2014.

The publicly traded self-storage REIT bought the Spare Space Storage facility at 9420 Spectrum Drive in Austin, TX. The deal closed April 3, according to local property records.

Platinum Storage Group, an Irvine, CA-based owner and manager of self-storage facilities, sold the property. The company operates the Storage Direct brand of facilities. Representatives of Platinum Storage Group and Public Storage could not be reached for comment.

Facility cost $3.7 million to build

Public Storage assumed the existing mortgage on the property, which carries a principal balance of $4.88 million. Platinum Storage bought the property in 2007 for $6.49 million.

The SpareFoot Storage Beat could not confirm how much Public Storage paid for the Spare Space Storage facility, but the REIT said in its 2013 annual report that it had a one self-storage facility under contract in Austin, TX, as of late February. The REIT said it would buy the unidentified facility, which has 86,000 rentable square feet, for $10.8 million.

Public Storage Austin
Public Storage already has changed the signage on this former Spare Space Storage facility.

The three-story, climate-controlled Spare Space Storage facility was built in 2004 at a cost of $3.7 million, according to the builder, MST Constructors.

Active acquirer

The Austin acquisition is the first one in 2014 for Glendale, CA-based Public Storage. Last year, Public Storage — the largest self-storage operator in the U.S. — bought 121 facilities for $1.16 billion.

Public Storage Chairman and CEO Ron Havner recently said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts that he expected the company to be an active acquirer in 2014, but the availability of top-quality facilities would hinder those plans.

“We’re seeing more products come to market in general … but of lower quality than the stuff we saw last year,” Havner said in February.

Public Storage has more 250 facilities in Texas, second to California in terms of the number of facilities it has in one state. The REIT has about two dozen locations in the Austin market.

Alexander Harris