CHICAGO-Strategic Storage Trust Inc., a non-traded self-storagecenter REIT that’s sponsored by Strategic Capital Holdings, hasentered the local area with the $11.7 million buy of threeself-storage facilities. The properties include about 2,000 unitshere and in Cicero, IL.

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Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO of the Ladera Ranch, CA-basedtrust, says the sites were purchased from an institutionalinvestor. The properties had been branded under the Lake Forest,IL-based Metro Self Storage name. Each property now is rebrandedunder SSTI’s SmartStop name.

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The sites include 690 units at 1000 E. 95th St., nearChicago State University, and 590 units at 2244 S. Western Ave. inthe Pilson neighborhood of Chicago, and 750 units at 5701 W. OgdenAve. in Cicero. The properties are less than 8 years old, Schwartzsays, and are about 81% occupied.

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He says he’s been trying to get into Chicago, to diversify thecompany’s portfolio of 38 properties in 15 states. “We hadn’t beenable to find the right value until now. With this we were able tobuy a cluster, a beachhead with the potential for more acquisitionsin the area,” Schwartz tells GlobeSt.com.

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The properties mirror the current self storage market, which hasaveraged around 80% to 85% occupied for the past few years, hesays. “Self storage has seemed to be recession resilient,” Schwartzsays. “This Chicago portfolio is still stable, even though we’reentering the slow period for this product, people tend not to moveduring the holidays. We think we have a nice portfolio that’s wellpositioned for the economic recovery.”

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