There’s a new a four-story structure towering above a swath of derelict industrial sites on 1st Avenue North in St. Pete, not far away from the downtown corridor. This is the new self-storage development currently operated by ExtraSpace, and all indications are it’s a sign of what’s to come – multi-family residential units.
Orlando-based Liberty Investment Properties is the king of self-storage development, with 55 properties completed – and the company is banking on the residential boom in the EDGE district and the western section of downtown St. Pete.
Liberty often references a key trend and indicator that drives their self-storage growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the probability of 18 to 34-year-olds owning a home has been on a steep decline since 2005. So, with Millennials currently making up a significant percentage of the population growth in downtown St. Pete, this facility is primed to fill a major need.
Adam Mikkelson, now at the helm of Liberty, says recurring success in self-storage also comes from creating unique partnerships with local investors. “We have decades of expertise in developing storage facilities,” he says, “and have the ability to provide a unique benefit to local investment groups who are willing to partner, and who are looking to invest in their own communities.”
For the St. Pete project, Liberty teamed up with Tampa-based Osprey Capital, as well as sage St. Pete business and community leaders Doug Bray and Craig Sher and newcomer Will Conroy. Conroy recently developed The Salvador, a luxury condominium high rise in downtown St. Pete. “These are all individuals who are involved in their city and want to grow and enhance the value,” Mikkelson says. ‘They know urban storage is part of that growth.”
Says Sher, Executive Chairman of the Sembler Company: “It’s another essential element in growing the great city of St Pete. Storage may not be attention-grabbing, but it’s an expected service offering in any big city.”
ExtraSpace, at 1501 2nd Ave. N. – across from the future St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters – now open for business.
Amber Brinkley is a principal in Kippen Communications, a St. Petersburg marketing and public relations firm.