Store this: Multifamily developer LaTerra plans another 98K sf in hot category

LA’s self storage market both hot and undersupplied

Chris Tourtellotte and 6850 Vineland Avenue (Twitter/CTourtellotte, LoopNet, iStock)
Chris Tourtellotte and 6850 Vineland Avenue (Twitter/CTourtellotte, LoopNet, iStock)

An established multifamily developer filed plans for a nearly 100,000 square foot self storage project in North Hollywood, a project that’s part of the firm’s broader push into self storage.

Century City-based LaTerra Development filed its application with the planning department in late April, and the application was registered by the city this week. Earlier this month TRD reported on LaTerra’s plans to build self storage facilities in Van Nuys and Mar Vista. Those two projects and the latest plan in North Hollywood are part of a joint venture with Macquarie Asset Management. The venture aims to invest up to $300 million to develop self storage facilities in Southern California, according to a release.

“Self-storage continues to demonstrate its resiliency across the cycle,” Chris Tourtellotte, the firm’s CEO, said in the release, citing a surge in demand born of pandemic-inspired relocations and shifting business needs. Tourtellotte also noted L.A.’s low per-capita supply — one recent report from the website RentCafe ranked L.A. among the country’s most undersupplied self storage markets.

“We think it’s an ideal time to launch this new platform,” said Tourtellotte.

The firm’s latest project is located near the Hollywood Burbank Airport and calls for the construction of a three-story, 98,000-square-foot self storage facility with 32 car parking spaces. LaTerra plans to demolish an existing light industrial building on the site to make way for the storage.

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LaTerra bought the one-and-a-half acre site, on North Vineland Avenue, for $10.8 million in late February through an LLC, according to property records. It was sold by two holding companies: One of those entities was controlled by the commercial investor Shahram Shoushani, and the other was controlled by the investor Shahram Fahimian. LaTerra’s entity took $6.9 million in financing from Western Alliance Bank.

L.A.’s reputation as an undersupplied self storage market appears to be sparking new investments in the sector besides LaTerra. The same RentCafe report, published last month, found that the L.A. metro area had more than 6 million square feet of self storage space planned or under construction, the second most in the country, behind New York. Last month the Torrance-based developer Insite, in one example of the trend, filed plans to build a 142,000-square-foot self storage facility in an industrial area south of Downtown L.A.

LaTerra’s pursuit of storage projects is a shift. It has more than a dozen multifamily and mixed-use projects spread around Southern California, including a 71-unit apartment and retail project on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, a 228-unit complex in Santa Ana and a 344-unit complex next to the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale.

It remains active in the multifamily market even as it pursues storage developments. In June of 2020, the firm closed a $40 million purchase of an eight-acre site for a major project in downtown Burbank: Plans for LaTerra Select Burbank, which is under construction, include 573 apartments, a 307-room hotel, 1,100 square feet of retail and a 30,000-square-foot public transit plaza.

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