Manhattan Mini Storage expands into NYC boroughs, eyes NJ market

Jay Fitzgerald
Published January 16, 2024

Manhattan Mini Storage doesn’t just want a bigger bite of the Big Apple self-storage market. It’s now eyeing expansion into New Jersey too.

Two years after its purchase by StorageMart, Manhattan Mini, a well-known self-storage operator on the island of Manhattan, announced earlier this month it was expanding its brand to Brooklyn and Queens, its first foray into the city’s outer boroughs since the storage firm’s founding in 1978.

Two StorageMart facilities were converted to the Manhattan Mini brand, bringing the total number of Manhattan Mini outlets to 20 in New York City.

Normally, storage companies rebrand their newly acquired properties to their own recognizable names. But Adam Steckler, chief operating officer at StorageMart and the former president of Manhattan Mini before its acquisition, said the Manhattan Mini brand was just too well-known in the city to abandon.

“The Manhattan Mini Storage name is one of the few true recognizable brand names in the storage industry,” said Steckler,” StorageMart wanted to leverage that, and so we’ve started expanding it to our other facilities.”

In addition to its two recent conversions in Brooklyn and the Queens, StorageMart is now planning later this year to convert another of its Brooklyn facilities to the Manhattan Mini brand, said Steckler.

Looking over the river

What about expanding to NYC’s two other boroughs, the Bronx and Staten Island?

“We’d love to buy more stores in the boroughs,” said Steckler. “We’re looking.”

And the company is also looking at expanding outside of New York – in New Jersey – via more conversions of StorageMart outlets to the Manhattan Mini brand.

“There’s two stores in New Jersey, the West New York store and the Secaucus store, that we’re considering expanding into,” said Steckler.

But first the company needs to assess whether the Manhattan Mini brand will work in the Garden State.

“Does [the brand] extend into the bigger New York metropolitan area? I think that’s what we’re trying to learn. Does this brand have value as you start to expand into New Jersey?”

Holding down the home turf

Steckler made clear that Manhattan Mini is also eyeing expanding on its own home turfManhattan.

Currently, there’s a total of about 51 self-storage facilities on Manhattan – owned by a combination of industry players that include large REITs, smaller mom-and-pop firms and Manhattan Mini.

Besides the current 18 Manhattan Mini stores operating on the island, the firm also third-party manages 10 other facilities now under the StorageMart brand, making it the largest self-storage operator on Manhattan, said Steckler.

“Realistically, if we can add another five to 10 facilities over the next five years, that would be fantastic,” he said. “I think there’s opportunities in the market. There are some operators who are in financial distress just given what’s happened in the capital markets and with interest rates.”

Doing things the Manhattan way

As for the StorageMart takeover of Manhattan Mini, Steckler said the merger has gone well, with normal merger hiccups.

“There were a lot of operational things to learn,” said Steckler, who worked for 18 years at Edison Properties, the previous owner of Manhattan Mini, before the StorageMart takeover.

“We just did things very differently in Manhattan than the way it’s done in a lot of suburban United States [markets]. But the business has done very well. It continues to have same-store growth of 3% every year and Storage Mart has cut a lot of duplicative expenses out of the business.”

Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald has more than 20 years of experience covering business and economics for publications and online sites, with a growing emphasis on blogs, social media and podcasts.

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