H. Michael Schwartz, SSTI's chairman and chief executiveofficer, notes that the REIT has grown despite "the challengingeconomic climate and turbulent credit markets." Schwartz observesthat the self-storage industry has historically exhibited recessionresistant traits, a story that "resonates with investors lookingfor alternatives to a volatile stock market," the SSTI chairmansays.

The SSTI strategy is to identify key self-storage propertiesnationwide for acquisition, with prospects of capitalizing oncreating greater efficiency in a sector that is comparativelystable but also fragmented among many smaller owner-operators. TheREIT's most recent growth includes the $9.9 million acquisition ofthree Best Self-Storage facilities located in the greatermetropolitan area of Cincinnati. The three new properties broughtan additional 1,295 storage units and 211,000 square feet ofleasable space into the SSTI portfolio.

All three Best Self-Storage properties are located in NorthernKentucky within 15 miles of downtown Cincinnati. The portfoliopurchase was funded in part by two seller financed promissorynotes. The notes bear a fixed interest rate of five percent perannum during the first three years of their five-year terms and sixpercent per annum during the final two years of their five-yearterms. US Commercial LLC, the sponsor of SSTI, manages a portfolioof more than five million square feet of commercial properties,including 3.2 million square feet of self-storage facilities, witha combined market value of over $588 million.

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