Self-storage operator StorageMart closed March 17 on the purchase of 18 facilities in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska from Wichita, KS-based Budget Storage Rental Spaces. The acquisition makes StorageMart the biggest self-storage operator in the Des Moines, IA, area.

The 18-property portfolio gives Columbia, MO-based StorageMart an additional 8,573 storage units and 1.1 million square feet of rentable space, mostly in the Des Moines area. The privately owned company now operates 149 facilities in 17 states and Canada.

Budget Storage, led by President Bill Jinks, has been in business for about 30 years.

The purchase price was not disclosed, but StorageMart CEO Mike Burnam said the acquisition was financed with a loan from Wells Fargo.

Waiting game

Burnam said he’s had his eye on the Budget Storage portfolio for a long time. StorageMart even made an offer to buy the portfolio back in 2007. That offer was rejected, but Burnam said StorageMart “stayed in touch over the years” with Budget Storage.

“We kept our eye on the [Des Moines] market,” Burnam said, “and have been waiting for the right time” to make another offer.

Budget Storage in Ankeny, IA
StorageMart’s purchase of the Budget Storage portfolio includes this facility in Ankeny, IA.

Aaron Swerdlin, executive managing director of the national Self Storage Group at NGKF Capital Markets, brokered the deal. When Budget Storage recently started marketing the 18 facilities for sale, StorageMart came calling again. This time, a deal was sealed.

Burnam said the properties would require minimal renovation.

“Luckily, a lot of the heavy lifting was done by the Budget group prior to our takeover,” Burnam told The SpareFoot Storage Beat. “The little amount of money spent in the year prior to marketing the portfolio paid them a handsome premium.”

Burnam said StorageMart will invest in new signage and gates as well as spruced-up rental offices.

Taking Des Moines

The bulk of the acquired facilities — 14 — are in and around Des Moines. According to the 2014 Self Storage Almanac, the Des Moines area had 72 storage facilities in 2013, encompassing more than 3.4 million square feet. Of the country’s five largest self-storage operators, only U-Haul has a presence in the Des Moines market.

“We identified Des Moines as a market we would like to enter, but only if we could acquire critical mass in order to spread expenses over a bigger portfolio,” Burnam said.

The four remaining facilities are in Davenport, IA; Olathe, KS; Wichita, KS; and Lincoln, NE. The Lincoln and Olathe locations had operated under the Advantage Self-Storage brand.

Budget also runs a portable storage business, which StorageMart did not buy. Bill Jinks, Budget’s president, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Storage in Olathe, KS
StorageMart now owns this facility in Olathe, KS.

Here’s a list of the new StorageMart locations:

•    6520 Northwest Blvd., Davenport, IA
•    1800 E. Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA
•    2500 SE 14th St., Des Moines, IA
•    4043 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA
•    3221 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Des Moines, IA
•    139 SW 63rd St., Des Moines, IA
•    125 S. 13th St., West Des Moines, IA
•    5267 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA
•    1850 SE Miehe Drive, Grimes, IA
•    205 SW Irvinedale Drive, Ankeny, IA
•    205 SE Delaware Ave., Ankeny, IA
•    60 NE Venture Drive, Waukee, IA
•    9821 Douglas Ave., Urbandale, IA
•    6600 Hickman Road, Windsor Heights, IA
•    6525 Center St., Windsor Heights, IA
•    1050 E. MacArthur Road, Wichita, KS
•    1501 S. Mahaffie Circle, Olathe, KS
•    6101 Cornhusker Highway, Lincoln, NE

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Alexander Harris