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Smartstop makes $300M GTA self-storage acquisition

Buys eight facilities across Greater Toronto Area, Burlington and Hamilton

SmartStop Self-Storage logo.SmartStop Self Storage REIT says it has become the fifth-largest self-storage operator in Canada with the $300-million acquisition of eight properties in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas.

The properties comprise 7,400 units and 758,000 square feet of rentable space.

They were acquired by SmartStop’s affiliates Strategic Storage Trust VI, Inc. and Strategic Growth Trust III, Inc., REITs which are managed by SmartStop.

SmartStop and its affiliates now own or manage 33 operating self-storage properties in Canada, consisting of approximately 28,600 units and three million square feet of space.

Several of those facilities are held in a joint venture with Toronto-based SmartCentres REIT, though this transaction is outside of that JV.

14 Canadian properties acquired in past year

The Ladera Ranch, Calif.-based company has been aggressively adding properties in Canada over the past 12 months.

This acquisitions brings it to 14 operating facilities added to the portfolio during the past year, with a value of approximately $450 million.

“I firmly believe that our recent expansion in Canada is a pivotal move that perfectly demonstrates our vision for strategic growth,” said H. Michael Schwartz, CEO of SmartStop, in the announcement.

“With these class-A facilities, we are bolstering our commitment to serving the Canadian market while addressing a significant demand for purpose-built self storage in the thriving Greater Toronto Area.” 

Tuesday’s announcement does not identify the individual properties which were acquired, but it does note the areas they service.

The facilities are in Burlington, Hamilton, North York, Woodbridge (Vaughan), Toronto and Mississauga.

While some will increase SmartStop’s presence in communities it already serves, several of the locations open up new neighbourhoods for the firm.

“Each of these class-A assets represents a unique opportunity for growth and innovation, enabling us to strengthen our presence in this dynamic landscape,” said Bliss Edwards, executive vice-president of Canada for SmartStop, in the announcement.

“We are extremely excited to bring SmartStop's operational excellence and our best-in-class customer service to both new and existing communities that our properties serve."

About SmartStop and the trusts

SmartStop Self Storage REIT, Inc. is a self-managed REIT with a fully integrated operations team of approximately 500 employees. 

Through its indirect subsidiary SmartStop REIT Advisors, LLC, the firm also sponsors other self-storage programs.

As of June 20, 2023, SmartStop has an owned or managed portfolio of 192 operating properties in 22 states and Canada, comprising approximately 135,000 units and 15.2 million rentable square feet. 

SmartStop and its affiliates own or manage 33 operating self-storage properties in Canada, which total approximately 28,600 units and 3.0 million rentable square feet.

Strategic Storage Trust VI, Inc. (SST VI) is a Maryland corporation investing in income-producing and growth self-storage facilities and related self-storage real estate investments in the United States and Canada. 

As of June 20, 2023, SST VI has a portfolio of 13 operating properties in the United States comprising approximately 8,660 units and 1,005,000 rentable square feet (including parking); 11 properties with approximately 9,800 units and 1,050,000 rentable square feet (including parking) in Canada, joint venture interests in three development properties in Ontario and Quebec and one development property in Ontario.

Strategic Storage Growth Trust III, Inc. (SSGT III) is a Maryland corporation with a primary strategy of investment in growth-oriented self-storage facilities and related self-storage real estate investments in the U.S. and Canada. 

As of June 20, 2023, SSGT III has a portfolio of five operating properties in the U.S., comprising approximately 4,400 units and 487,400 rentable square feet and one operating property in Canada, comprising approximately 750 units and 74,400 rentable square feet.

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