Convenience real estate investor Mitiska REIM has formed a joint venture partnership with Belgian self-storage firm Storo, with plans to roll the concept out to more European markets in due course.
Under the JV agreement, Mitiska REIM has acquired a stake in Storo’s self-storage sites on behalf of its flagship MEREP 3 (Mitiska European Real Estate Partners 3) fund. Financial details were not disclosed.
Founded in 2019 by Johan and Lennert De Bruyn, Storo describes itself as ‘a pioneer in next-generation self-storage, offering customers a unique digital booking and onboarding process, a keyless system for units managed on a mobile app, and a fully digital automated service’.
The company has two operational sites in Belgium with a third due to open this summer. The two existing sites are located in Brecht (189 self-storage units) and Mechelen (370 units). The Roeselare site, acquired in December 2022 and scheduled to open this summer, will offer 462 self-storage units, combined with 680m2 of SME units and a Dockx rental vehicle office.
Mitiska REIM and Storo have developed a pipeline of additional investment opportunities, targeting the repurposing of existing buildings, such as retail showrooms, industrial buildings and offices. The initial focus will be on the Belgian market, with target cities including Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, Brussels, Charleroi, Liege and Namur.
Bart Rabaey, Mitiska REIM’s chief investment strategy officer, said self-storage ‘fits seamlessly into Mitiska REIM’s convenience real estate strategy which targets visible and accessible sites on urban infill locations’.
Self-storage is a growing segment of the European real estate market, supported by structural demographic trends that are driving increased demand for storage space from consumers. According to The Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA), the European self-storage market is still at an early stage of development compared to the UK and the US, with total investment volumes increasing 3.5 times in 2021 compared to the previous year.