JV Acquires 934-Unit Metro DC Self Storage

The buyers of the Alexandria facility plan to invest in extensive capital improvements.
Oakville Self Storage. Image courtesy of JLL Capital Markets

A partnership between Potomac Yard Mini U Storage, Dahn Corp. and Elevation Fund 8 purchased Oakville Self Storage, a 934-unit facility in Alexandria, Va. JLL Capital Markets arranged the transaction on behalf of the seller, a private investor. 

The asset, which now operates under the Yard Mini U Storage brand, encompasses 25- to 700-square-foot non-climate-controlled units in one three-story building. The property offers drive-up and elevator access to the storage spaces.

Located at 405 Swann Ave., the facility is part of the 1 million-square-foot master-planned redevelopment dubbed Oakville Triangle, which includes multifamily properties, retail and medical centers. The asset is close to the Potomac Yard Center mall, some 6 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C., and 2 miles from Alexandria’s Historical District. All can be reached via the Richmond Highway, which runs close to the facility. 

The 1949-built Oakville Self Storage has undergone an adaptive reuse process in 1989, when it was converted to a self storage facility. The new owner plans to invest in extensive capital improvements, set to upgrade the facade and introduce climate control to some units. BWD Architects is in charge of the redesign.

The JLL Capital Markets team that arranged the transaction included Managing Directors Brian Somoza and Steve Mellon, as well as Senior Managing Director Bruce Strasburg and Director Craig Childs.

DC’s Steady Self Storage Fundamentals

Steady demand and a shortage of available land, alongside the area’s growing employment base and positive demographic trends, were among the key factors that determined the buyer to close on the transaction, Strasburg said in prepared remarks.

The self storage market is performing well nationally and Washington, D.C., as a whole, continued to record rent growth. According to a recent Yardi Matrix report, the average D.C. rate for 10×10-foot non-climate-controlled units was up 12 percent year-over-year as of June. Meanwhile, the rate for climate-controlled units of the same size was up 17 percent.

Metro D.C. also remained one of the country’s top self storage markets, ranking third for sales volume during the first half of 2021, with $168.5 million in assets changing hands. 

However, development seems to be slowly catching up with demand. In June, facilities underway totaled 9.8 percent of existing inventory, a 50-basis-point uptick compared to the previous month, and 150 basis points above the U.S. average, the same report shows.