Self-storage owner NitNeil Partners has landed in the Midwest with the acquisition of a storage facility in Columbus, OH.

The Atlanta-based company bought a 41,000-square-foot self-storage facility at 5660 W. Broad St. in Columbus. The facility formerly operated as Space Savers Mini Storage but now operates under the Extra Space Storage brand.

Neil Sapra, principal at NitNeil, declined to disclose the purchase price. The facility is the 16th in NitNeil’s portfolio.

Sapra said NitNeil wasn’t actively looking in the Midwest, but when the Columbus opportunity arose, NitNeil realized that “it had all the merits of the type of deals we look for.”

“It was an opportunity to acquire a Class B institutional-quality asset at or below replacement cost with opportunity for upside through operations as well as expansion,” Sapra said.

Sapra said NitNeil plans to build a 20,000-square-foot addition at the Columbus facility within the next year.

Third-party management

NitNeil recently switched management of its facilities to self-storage REITs Extra Space and Sovran Self Storage (Uncle Bob’s).

NitNeil Chattanooga
This NitNeil-owned facility in Chattanooga, TN, now operates under the Uncle Bob’s brand.

“We feel the national companies are better positioned to be successful on the operation side of things,” Sapra said. “As a regional owner operator—kind of what we were—it is still an uphill battle to compete with the national companies on marketing, technology and revenue management.”

NitNeil has been in the self-storage business since 1994. Most of its facilities are in Alabama and Georgia.

Focused on development 

Sapra said the company’s next development will be in Greenville, SC. NitNeil recently closed on a downtown site; groundbreaking for a 92,000-square-foot facility there is scheduled for this month.

About half of NitNeil’s portfolio consists of sites developed by the company, and Sapra said that continues to be the company’s focus in light of current market conditions.

“It’s getting harder and harder to compete, considering how much capital is chasing acquisitions in the industry,” Sapra said. “We feel like our competitive advantage going forward is on the development side.”

Sapra said NitNeil is setting its sights on another new market: South Florida. The company is searching for a site to build a facility there. “We are hoping we can have something under construction by the end of the year,” he said.

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Alexander Harris