Elizabeth self storage
Real Estate

The Hampshire Companies Acquires Former Armory Building in Elizabeth

The Hampshire Companies, a full service, private real estate investment firm based in Morristown, continues to expand its robust self-storage portfolio by announcing the acquisition of the former armory building at 1189 Magnolia Ave. in Elizabeth. In this adaptive reuse self-storage project, The Hampshire Companies will redevelop the over 100-year-old former armory building into a state-of-the-art, institutional-quality, three-story self-storage facility.  Construction is slated to begin later this year.

Originally constructed in 1912, the armory building sits directly in the heart of downtown Elizabeth. With a population of more than 128,000 people and a lack of local institutional-quality self-storage facilities, Elizabeth presents the ideal demographics that Hampshire looks for in each self-storage project.  In addition to favorable demographics, the property offers accessibility to the New Jersey Turnpike, Routes 1 and 9 and the Port of Elizabeth.

The project will enable Hampshire to leverage their decades of experience in self-storage ground-up development and redevelopment to create a unique self-storage facility that honors the history of the site while bringing a modern facility to market. Hampshire’s plan calls for preserving the building’s historic façade and exterior to ensure that this important historical icon can remain a focal point of downtown Elizabeth. In the interior, Hampshire will create a 100,000-square-foot, modern, three-level self-storage facility. Following the completion of the project, the building will be professionally managed by Extra Space Storage, a leading self-storage REIT.

“As we embarked on the design of this project, the uniqueness of the building created a highly unique and complex set of challenges,” said James E. Hanson II, president & CEO of The Hampshire Companies.  “However, our self-storage team has been able to apply the lessons from the dozens of projects that preceded to this one to develop a new approach and strategy versus traditional ground up development that will allow us to deliver a first-class, institutional quality asset and valuable community amenity to an underserved market.”

Having repositioned or developed 33 self-storage facilities with an aggregate value of over $415 million since 2012 alone, Hampshire has built a robust portfolio of self-storage facilities along the eastern United States. Hampshire continues to grow its self-storage market authority with 13 self-storage development projects currently underway aggregating $239 million of investment and is targeting another 14 additional projects with an aggregate value of $243 million in the pipeline.

“Upon an initial viewing of the building, many might not see self-storage conversion as a natural fit,” said Michael Legacki, senior acquisitions manager for The Hampshire Companies. “Our ability to identify real estate through our experienced-backed site selection and due diligence process allowed our team to recognize that this space presented an ideal opportunity to bring a modern self-storage asset to an underserved market. Additionally, having a strong, well-versed team enabled us to adeptly maneuver the entitlement process and work with the city of Elizabeth to gain approvals within a very tight timeline.”

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