13 Mar Mitiska REIM forms strategic joint venture partnership with STORO
Mitiska REIM, the leading specialist investor in European convenience real estate, has today announced a strategic joint venture partnership with Belgium-based self storage company, STORO.
Under the terms of the agreement, Mitiska REIM, on behalf of the MEREP 3 fund, has acquired a stake in STORO’s self storage sites. Moving forward, Mitiska REIM and STORO plan to roll out the STORO concept initially in Belgium and then across other European markets in the coming years.
Founded in 2019 by Johan and Lennert De bruyn, STORO is a pioneer in next-generation self storage, offering customers a unique digital booking and onboarding process, a keyless system for units managed on a mobile app, and a fully digital automated service. STORO is managed by Johan, Lennert and Jorinne De bruyn, who joined in 2022.
Self storage is a growing and underserved segment of the real estate market, supported by structural demographic trends that are driving increased demand for storage space from consumers. According to The Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA), the European self storage market is still at an early stage of development compared to the UK and the US, seeing total investment volumes increase 3.5 times in 2021 compared to the previous year.
The STORO site in Brecht opened in March 2020 and has 189 self storage units with a net rentable area of 1,040m2. STORO Mechelen opened in April 2020 and has 370 units with a net rentable area of 2,000m2, and is part of a mixed-use repurposing of a vacant industrial building which also features office units with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 240m2. The Roeselare site was acquired in December 2022 and is scheduled to open this summer, offering 462 self storage units covering a net rentable area of 2,900m2, combined with 680m2 of SME units and a Dockx rental vehicle office.
Mitiska REIM and STORO have already developed a pipeline of additional investment opportunities, targeting the repurposing of existing buildings, such as retail showrooms, industrial buildings and offices into STORO self storage sites. The initial focus will be on the Belgian market, with target cities including Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, Brussels, Charleroi, Liege and Namur.
Bart Rabaey, Mitiska REIM’s Chief Investment Strategy Officer, comments: “We are delighted to partner with STORO to roll out their innovative self storage concept across Belgium and beyond. Self storage fits seamlessly into Mitiska REIM’s convenience real estate strategy which targets visible and accessible sites on urban infill locations.”
Lennert De bruyn, Co-founder and Managing Director of STORO, comments: “We look forward to working in partnership with the Mitiska REIM team. Mitiska REIM’s network and experience in real estate finance and strategy, combined with STORO’s customer-focused offering, creates a powerful combination to grow and expand the STORO concept.”