GreenSpace acquisition holds promise for a sustainable self-storage future

Al Harris
February 14, 2024

The future of self-storage just got a little greener.

Raleigh-based SLI Capital and Charlotte-based Madison Capital have joined forces to acquire a controlling interest in GreenSpace Self-Storage. The company, renowned for its pioneering approach to constructing self-storage facilities out of stacked shipping containers, offers a sustainable alternative to traditional storage solutions.

Founded in 2015, Houston-based GreenSpace’s patented technology repurposes decommissioned shipping containers into multi-story storage facilities, cutting construction costs and expediting project timelines. The new partnership aims to fuel a rapid expansion of Green Space and its eco-friendly structures.

“Our goal is to grow the company rapidly due to its advantage in construction speed and superior basis while the balance of the traditional self-storage market is soft,” said Bryan Kane, CEO for SLI, “Through partnering with the Madison Capital team, we will have immediate operating expertise and scale enabling us to ramp up quickly.”

Climate-forward storage construction

Madison Capital CEO Ryan Hanks

“The big appeal for me is that you are using recycled shipping containers for the bulk of the construction,” said Madison CEO Ryan Hanks, “Seventy-seven percent of these facilities are made of recycled materials. That to me is a real plus.”

Madison is a real estate investment and development firm with a primary focus on the multifamily, self-storage, and boat and RV storage sectors. The firm operates the Go Store It chain of storage facilities, which was founded in 2013.

The patented construction method created by GreenSpace is not only better for the environment, but also less expensive. The facilities can also be built within a shorter amount of time compared to conventional methods. Go Store It has 10 conventional self-storage facilities under construction. Going forward, Hanks said that the company will consider incorporating the GreenSpace technology into its new builds.

“Clearly we see some value in that methodology and we will apply that now to our development strategy,” Hanks said.

Green beginnings and happy endings

GreenSpace was founded by Rick Stockton and David Ledoux in 2015 when the duo of engineering veterans drew up the initial concept on a cocktail napkin. From there they raised debt and equity to build their first two facilities in the Houston area. The company built two more facilities in Stafford, VA and White Marsh, MD.

“We found the perfect partners in SLI and Madison. Their principals bring the capital markets knowledge and operations experience we needed to take our self-storage concept to new heights,” said Ledoux in a statement.

The White Marsh facility, completed last year, makes use of more than 400 shipping containers. From the outside, the facility is indistinguishable from a traditionally built modern facility. But using its unique construction methods, GreenSpace was able to eliminate 660 tons of CO2 emissions that it otherwise would be responsible for if they had built a typical facility.

Conventional new construction, particularly in the realm of commercial and industrial projects like self-storage facilities, significantly contributes to climate change due to the intensive use of materials such as cement and steel. Cement production alone is responsible for approximately 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions, primarily due to the calcination process involved in creating clinker, a key ingredient in cement. 

Similarly, steel production is energy-intensive and releases substantial amounts of greenhouse gases, contributing to approximately 7-9% of global carbon dioxide emissions. By repurposing existing materials, the need for new production is minimized, reducing energy consumption and emissions associated with manufacturing processes. Additionally, recycling shipping containers diverts waste from landfills, further mitigating environmental impacts.

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