TORONTO-Strategic Storage Trust Inc., a REIT sponsored byStrategic Capital Holdings LLC, has made its first purchase inCanada with the $14 million buy of a 1,060-unit facility here. Thetrust has also signed up a joint venture partner to redevelopindustrial buildings and buy more storage properties throughout thecountry.

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The trust, through affiliate Strategic Storage Holdings LLC, hasentered into a letter of intent to form a JV with BudgetDevelopment Partners to acquire operational self-storageproperties, build new facilities and redevelop sites. Therecently-closed deal is of a site at 4548 Dufferin St., about ninemiles north of downtown Toronto in the North York area. Theproperty was built in 1965 and was converted into self-storage in2008.

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The company already has an industrial building under contract inMississauga, Ontario, just south of Toronto, for $5.5 million.Michael Schwartz, SSTI’s chairman and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com thatthe JV will look for existing properties more than trying to buildnew. “There’s pretty hefty development taxes in Canada. As long aswe’re buying existing buildings and just upgrading the inside, wedon’t have that same tax barrier to entry,” Schwartz says. Thecurrent contract deal should close in the first quarter, hesays.

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He says the self-storage business is moving steadily along, andacknowledged that the past couple years of owner-rental upheavalhasn’t exactly hurt the storage business. “We think things havebottomed out. There hasn’t been a lot of development, so there willbe a lot of absorption. We think Toronto, and Canada, is along-term growth prospect, and they’re underserved from a storageperspective,” Schwartz said.

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