Nuveen Real Estate buys self-storage portfolio in UK

Nuveen Real Estate buys self-storage portfolio in UK
Image: Easistore

Nuveen Real Estate has acquired a self-storage portfolio in the UK from Easistore on behalf of its European value add strategy.

The portfolio, which comprises four assets totalling c. 240,000 sq ft, consists of predominantly modern, bespoke, purpose-built properties, which are located across the south-east of England including Crawley, Edenbridge, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells. 

Well-located and with excellent visibility and prominence, the four mature properties trade into dense residential and commercial areas, benefitting from excellent connectivity to transport links and infrastructure.

Nuveen will partner with one of the UK’s leading operators, Storage King, to leverage their operational expertise.

The partnership with Storage King has seen the parties enter into a joint venture, with Storage King taking a minority stake in the JV and contributing 10% of the equity capital. The portfolio will be branded and managed by Storage King under its third-party management platform – Management 1st.

Storage King forms part of Stor-Age, a highly specialised property fund focused on the fast growing self storage sector which develops, acquires and manages high profile self-storage properties. Stor-Age owns a portfolio of 86 properties across the UK and South Africa. 

Nuveen will undertake a number of initiatives to enhance the portfolio, including extensions at Crawley and Maidstone, a reconfiguration opportunity at Edenbridge, as well as increasing occupancy and rental levels across the portfolio. 

In February, Nuveen announced the first and second closing of its pan-European diversified Value Add strategy, providing the venture with €450m of dry powder. This is the first acquisition in line with the strategy’s approach of targeting value-add opportunities across Europe and the UK initially focusing on urban logistics, housing and alternatives. It builds on Nuveen’s strong track record in Europe, following the acquisition of both 24Storage and Green Storage in 2021, which enabled Nuveen to create a market-leading self-storage platform in Sweden.

Self-storage is considered one of the most attractive sectors given the significant under-supply of modern space, proven resilience in times of volatility, scope to generate value through scale, the use of innovative technology and active management.

David Pearce, Fund Manager, Real Estate, Europe at Nuveen, said: “Over the last few months we have worked closely with our joint-venture partner, Stor-Age, to enter the UK self-storage market and this acquisition provides an excellent seed portfolio. Well-located assets near to densely populated residential areas, have demonstrated a consistent level of rental growth in recent years and we have identified an opportunity to be an early mover in this sector, which offers substantial scalability potential in the UK. Our focus is now on undertaking our business plan including rebranding the properties, leasing of the remaining vacant space, the potential for development and extension at some of the assets and, if the right opportunities arise, further growing our self-storage portfolio.”

Jasper Gilbey, Head of Housing & Alternatives, Real Estate, Europe at Nuveen said: “Self-storage is one of our key conviction plays in Europe given the sectors proven resilience, strong demographic tailwinds and low provision rates as a basis for growth. We are delighted to build on the success of our Green Storage platform in Sweden with the acquisition of the Easistore platform in the UK for our European Value-Add strategy. We look forward to growing the platform in partnership with our operator, Storage King”.

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