Building upon its purchase of the Storage Rentals of America portfolio last year, West Palm Beach, FL-based Elite Stor Capital recently acquired seven facilities in Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina for $20 million.

CEO Benjamin Macfarland told the SpareFoot Storage Beat that the company is planning to continue to acquire aggressively in 2016 and start some development projects as well.

The new facilities add 500,000 square feet to the company’s portfolio. The single transaction involved six different sellers, and was financed by a $13 million debt piece procured by Cantor Commercial Real Estate.

Adding to the core

The recent acquisitions will be rebranded Storage Rentals of America, joining a portfolio of 23 self-storage facilities in Kentucky and Ohio that Elite Stor purchased last April for $35 million.

Macfarland said the Storage Rentals of America portfolio, which sat on the market for more than two years before being bought, has performed better than expected.

“We’ve been beating our top-line projections on underwriting month-over-month,” Macfarland said,  “We are pretty pleased with the acquisition.”

Macfarland said several value-add improvements boosted performance of the facilities, which were mostly built in the 1980s.

“They didn’t have computers on site at any of their locations,” Macfarland,  “It would take thirty minutes to get a rental done.

Eyes on expansion

Now Elite Stor is expanding the Storage Rentals brand; with the recently added facilities the company is entering South Carolina for the first time. Macfarland said the company will focus on the Southeast, but will consider other markets as well.

“I like the Southeast. If the state has positive macroeconomic growth–that’s what attracts me to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The South tends to be growing and has a good tax environment,” MacFarland said.

Key hires

The company is gearing up for development as well.

“We have one in the planning phase in West Palm Beach right now,” Macfarland said, adding that they are looking at two other development deals in South Florida.

Elite Stor recently hired John Judd, who was head of construction at Stor-All for 15 years before that company sold its portfolio to Public Storage in 2013, to head construction projects for Elite Stor. Elite Stor also recently hired Donald Toler, formerly regional vice-president at Southern Self Storage, to serve as COO.

Macfarland said future development projects could add to the Storage Rentals footprint, but also said they’d consider third-party managed facilities in certain markets and joint venture with other developers.

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Alexander Harris