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CHARLOTTE, NC-Locally based Morningstar Properties LLC and Chicago-based Harrison Street Real Estate Capital have formed a $200-million joint venture to acquire, develop and redevelop self-storage facilities. The joint venture will focus on properties in the Carolinas.

It is expected that the joint venture will acquire $200 million in property over the next three years. The properties will be operated under the Morningstar Mini-Storage brand. “Our home is in the Carolinas, so it is appropriate that these new North Carolina stories will be the beachhead to reestablish our presence,” says Morningstar Properties president David Benson says.

The joint venture was launched with the acquisition of three assets totaling 1,589 units in the Charlotte, Fayetteville and Carrboro/Chapel Hill, markets with a value of $13 million. The Charlotte facility is located in the CBD where recent condominium development has added or will add 5,000 units. The Fayetteville property is located near Fort Bragg Military Base and the Carrboro asset is near Chapel Hill, where 50,000 students and facility live each year.

Morningstar executive vice president and CFO Phyllis McArthur tells GlobeSt.com that in addition to Charlotte, Fayetteville and Chapel Hill, the company has identified major metropolitan markets throughout the Southeast, including Virginia and Tennessee. McArthur adds that Morningstar generally targets properties in the 40,000-sf to 60,000-sf range. “We have projects under contract in South Carolina and Georgia,” she says.

Since 1981, Morningstar has developed and operated almost 70 self-storage projects totaling more than 5.5 million sf. Harrison provides equity capital at the property level to developers and operators in the specialty sectors of the real estate market.

“The self-storage asset class remains highly fragmented. With over 45,000 self-storage facilities in the US still largely held by local operators, we have targeted the self-storage market given the excellent risk-adjusted returns one can achieve as the sector consolidates,” says Harrison Street Real Estate Capital principal Robert Mathias.

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