TI Storage makes first Manhattan purchase, plans $20M self-storage facility

Storage properties are becoming an increasingly lucrative line of business
By James Comtois | June 13, 2013 04:30PM

TI Storage has made its first foray into the Manhattan market with the purchase of a site located at 122 West 146th Street in Harlem, the company’s president told The Real Deal.

The Manhattan-based owner, developer and manager of self-storage properties plans to construct a 100,000-square-foot self-storage facility on the site, which is currently occupied by a 36,000-square-foot parking lot.

Jack Kennedy Cayre, president of TI Storage, said that TI Storage’s total investment in the deal is approximately $20 million. The firm bought the site off-market for $8 million and anticipates a $12 million construction program, he said. The sale has not yet hit public records.

The seller was 122 West Street Realty Corp., an entity that took ownership of the lot from a Brooklyn man named William Cordero in 2001, city property records show. Cordero bought the lot from the city through a public auction, paying $136,000 in 1993, records show. Cayre declined to comment on the seller.

TI Storage has been “aggressively looking for properties” and found the lot through the real estate listing site PropertyShark, said Cayre, who is the cousin of Jack Cayre, the developer and co-founder of CORE.

“The Manhattan market is tough, but we broke the barrier,” Cayre added.

Upon completion, the property will contain approximately 2,000 self-storage units. The features will include climate-controlled units, individual door alarms, video surveillance and a free pick up service.

Construction is slated to begin in six months. TI Storage will continue to operate the site as a parking lot in the meantime.

“The company has been very successful in Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey, and we are very excited about developing our first facility in Manhattan,” Cayre said.

Prior to this deal, TI Storage purchased an 83,000-square-foot U.S. Postal distribution center at 78-02 Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park, Queens last October. Just as it’s doing with 122 West 146th, the firm is converting the property into a self-storage facility. Construction on the Liberty Avenue location is about 50 percent done and is slated to open its doors for business on October 1, Cayre said.

With the purchase of 122 West 146th, TI Storage now owns or has interest in 11 facilities containing more than 1 million square feet of storage space and more than 12,000 self-storage units in the Greater New York area.

Self-storage facilities have become among the most sought-after properties in commercial real estate, with fast-falling capitalization rates, as previously reported.

In December, real estate investment trust Acadia Realty Trust sold 14 self-storage properties across the Greater New York Area to Storage Post and investment firm Heitman LLC in a $300 million deal that caught investors’ attention because of its 5.5 percent cap rate.