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Morningstar Storage Plans New Facility

Morningstar Storage Plans New Facility
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 A Matthews-based self storage company recently closed on a transaction to develop a facility on North College Street.

Morningstar Properties, which has locations throughout the Charlotte metro area and across the Southeast, acquired 924-928 N. College St. for almost $1.3 million, according to Piedmont Properties/CORFAC International. The 18,000-square-foot industrial building onsite once housed the first Hobart Food Service Equipment distributor in the Carolinas.

Jim Plyler at Piedmont/CORFAC represented the seller, Harry Parker Inc., and the buyer in the transaction. Morningstar purchased the property under the name MSC College Street I.

Matt Shapiro, Chief Investment Officer at Morningstar Properties, said the property's proximity to the urban core was a prime reason why the company decided to build a 110,000-square-foot self-storage center.

“The light rail is going to be in our backyard,” Shapiro said. “(The site) has great exposure, with development creeping east and north.”

The project is sure to be one of many heading to the LYNX Blue Line buildout. Several projects, especially apartments, are proposed, approved or already under construction along the light-rail extension, expected to open late next year.

Shapiro said Morningstar had the North College site in the works for a long time, before several other self storage projects — many with a mixture of uses on the ground floor — came to light. Morningstar is targeting an adjacent parcel at the corner of East 12th and North College streets for another project, though Shapiro said a final plan has not yet been determined.

Despite the recent popularity of self storage centers, directly correlated to the strength of the multifamily market, the high number of those developments is a probable cause for concern, Shapiro says.

“There are so many projects planned,” he said. “We feel like there is going to be pressure as new supply comes online.”

Self storage facilities are an attractive asset class, Shapiro said. As large sectors of the population move into smaller spaces, demand for self-storage units has grown in response. It's a real estate sector growing rapidly in all markets Morningstar Properties works in, which goes from Washington, D.C., to Dallas.

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