Real estate developer DealPoint Merrill has purchased another shopping center for a self-storage conversion.

DealPoint plans to convert the former Kmart store (pictured above) at the 123,141-square foot Veterans Memorial Shopping Center in St. Charles, MO, into a 753-unit facility. Chuck E. Cheese’s occupies another part of the center; between Chuck E. Cheese’s and the former Kmart sits an open retail pad. The entire site covers nearly 16 acres.

This is the third shopping center that DealPoint has purchased since May for self-storage conversion. The two others are:

  • The 151,396-square-foot Bay View Plaza in Saginaw, MI. A 97,650-square-foot vacant Kmart will be converted into a storage facility; the rest of the center will feature retail stores.
  • The 120,700-square-foot National Road Plaza in Columbus, OH, which has room for retail development.

Also, the company recently bought an existing self-storage facility in Tucson, AZ, with partners Premier Storage and Realty Mogul. The 53,401-square-foot facility had operated as American Mini Storage. The property is approved for an expansion along with retail development.

Chuck E. Cheese's
A Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant remains open at the Veterans Memorial Shopping Center.

Purchase prices for the recent acquisitions weren’t available. DealPoint Merrill spokeswoman Danielle Watson said company executives declined to provide additional information. Co-founder David Frank is CEO of DealPoint Merrill, and co-founder Sterling McGregor is chief investment officer. McGregor is former president and managing director of a storage developer and operator based in Texas.

Aside from self-storage, DealPoint, a subsidiary of the Merrill Group of Companies, invests in the office, retail, student housing and apartment sectors. The parent company is based in Los Angeles. Last fall, DealPoint announced an investment partnership with commercial real estate broker Sperry Van Ness.

Commercial Property Executive reported in October that DealPoint had closed on 825,000 square feet of space in the third quarter of 2013 and had 1 million square feet of redevelopment projects under way, including self-storage.

The demographics required for a successful self-storage operation are similar to those for retail, which often make retail-to-storage conversions a good investment.

Jim Ponti, a sales manager at steel door manufacturer Janus International, told The Storage Facilitator last year that former big-box stores are good sites because they already have electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems in place, and many have space for storage expansion or complementary retail development.


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