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IRVINE, CA-Guardian Storage Centers has purchased a 1-million-sf, 14-property self-storage portfolio from StorAmerica Self-Storage for $85 million, according to Marcus & Millichap.

Charles “Chico” LeClaire of the Denver office of Marcus & Millichap, who brokered the deal, tells GlobeSt.com that the transaction represents the largest self-storage property sale in the 32-year history of Marcus & Millichap. LeClaire, a senior director with Marcus & Millichap’s National Self-Storage Group, says eight of the 14 properties are located in Southern California, four are in Northern California and two are in Arizona. The Southern California properties include facilities in Los Angeles and San Diego counties as well as facilities in the Inland Empire.

LeClaire tells GlobeSt.com that self-storage properties in general trade less often than apartments, offices or industrial properties, because owners tend to hold onto the facilities. He says portfolio deals of this size are rare, and this particular transaction is one of the largest he knows of involving Southern California self-storage facilities.

LeClaire says Marcus & Millichap targeted the top 100 potential investors in marketing the property, which generated 12 offers from qualified buyers. He notes that Irvine-based Guardian also acquired the trade name StorAmerica in addition to the assets. StorAmerica, a Southern California-based private investment group, originally acquired the properties as part of a consolidation strategy. The portfolio was more than 80% occupied at the time of the sale, consisting of facilities that were built from the 1970s through the year 2000. The building trend continues, LeClaire tells GlobeSt.com, with self-storage remaining a growth industry. Self-storage industry association reports list California as one of the centers of the industry, along with Texas, Florida, Washington, Ohio, Illinois, Virginia and Georgia. Facilities throughout the nation generally maintain occupancy rates of the mid-80% range to more than 90%, according to industry statistics.

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