Morningstar Properties is building a 100,000-square-foot storage facility in Charlotte, NC.

The Matthews, NC-based storage operator has been rebuilding its presence in the Charlotte market since its $315 million portfolio sale to Public Storage last fall. Public Storage bought Morningstar’s four Charlotte facilities as part of the 43-facility deal. In March, Morningstar returned to the Charlotte market with the purchase of a five-facility portfolio from Conix Inc. for more than $20 million.

Morningstar’s new facility, at 3115 Griffith Ave., is expected to open in December. The company bought the site in November for $595,000 and expects to spend about $5.7 million to build the 700-unit facility, according to local planning documents.

This property will be the premier facility in the greater Charlotte area, and we believe that superlative extends to the entire Southeast,” Dave Benson, president of Morningstar, said in a news release.

Morningstar operates 28 facilities in nine states under the Morningstar Mini-Storage brand.

Hot market

Morningstar isn’t the only operator boosting its Charlotte presence. Glendale, CA-based storage REIT Public Storage recently bought a five-facility portfolio in Charlotte for $26 million. With more than 30 locations, Public Storage is the dominant operator in the Charlotte market.

The Charlotte area is one of the hottest markets for rental rate growth in self-storage. From the third quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013, rental rates for non-climate-controlled 10×10 units in Charlotte grew 7.8 percent, more than any other major metro area, according to the 2014 Self-Storage Almanac. Real estate research firm Reis Inc. forecasts rental rates for 10×10 units in the Charlotte area will grow 6.6 percent in 2014, second only to Austin, TX.

The Charlotte market has more than 250 storage facilities, providing 6.75 square feet of storage space per resident, according to the 2014 almanac. That’s below the national average of 7.35 square feet.

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Alexander Harris