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NEW YORK CITY-AFC Realty Capital has formed the AFC Self-Storage Finance Group to serve client demand. The group focuses on originating and executing transactions on behalf of the owners and developers of self-storage facilities.

Paul Fried, an AFC principal who serves as president of the new group, says the sector is largely ignored by investment banks. “We see this as an opportunity to work with owners to provide more efficient and profitable capital solutions for their activities.”

In its first transaction, the group arranged joint venture equity and debt financing for a $94-million portfolio on behalf of the Veritas Group. The capital was used to purchase a 380,000-sf portfolio of newly built institutional grade self-storage facilities in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The funds include “take out” financing to acquire some to-be built assets. One of the assets is Wyckoff Self Storage facility, a 98,760-sf converted warehouse in Queens.

“Our experience with self-storage assets, as well as overall expertise in arranging equity, mezzanine and debt financing for these facilities allows us to bring a well-rounded service to the landscape of self-storage financing,” Fried points out.

The senior mortgage financing was originated and placed by Fried with an investment bank. The balance of the 90%-plus financing came from an institutional equity partner which had not previously invested in the self-storage sector. “These properties don’t fit the standard self-storage profile for capital providers used to self-storage assets in suburban locales,” says Fried. “These are large facilities situated in high-density, urban infill sites. Many capital providers were hesitant.”

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