Local developer Liberty Investment pushes growth in self-storage & hotels
By Mike Salinero
Jan 27, 2017 at 6:13 PM
UPDATED: JANUARY 30, 2017 11:21 AM — Orlando-based Liberty Investment Properties recently broke ground on its newest Central Florida self-storage facility near the Mall at Millenia, and may shift its focus for up to $40 million in new development in the coming years to more hospitality, the company's president told GrowthSpotter.
Developing with the My Neighborhood Storage Center brand, the new building off Millenia Boulevard will feature 90,000 square feet of climate-controlled space. The company opened a similarly sized MNSC building in Windermere last year.
But Liberty is taking a wait-and-see approach to developing more self-storage businesses in the Greater Orlando area, at least for now. President Adam Mikkelson cites an influx of capital from institutional investors that may be saturating the local market.
"There is the potential for overbuilding self-storage in the Central Florida market," he said on Friday. "There are a lot of non-local developers moving into (this region). We're cautious with the development we're doing in Central Florida just because people have tuned to self-storage as a legitimate investment."
Last January, Liberty sold seven storage buildings in the region. The company anticipates spending $30 million to $40 million in the next year or two on new development company-wide, and recently broke ground on a 92,000-square-foot storage facility in downtown St. Petersburg.
The company is also looking to expand in its other niche, extended-stay hotels. Liberty is near completion on construction of its third hotel, a 122-room WoodSpring Suites Tampa Fletcher.
Mikkelson said the company is preparing for a pace of five or six new developments a year.
Despite the large-scale sell-offs in recent years (the company sold 25 of its hotels in 2013), Liberty continues to look at Central Florida and the rest of the state as fertile ground for new development.
"We just sold our portfolio," he said. "We're now focused on building that back up in the Southeast, especially in the I-4 corridor.
"We are a long-term holding type of real estate company; we aren't looking to build and sell," he said. "We are primarily focused on cash flow, developing and holding. When the market peaks, we sell. But we don't have a five- or 10-year horizon on any of our development deals."
Editor's Note: This story's headline was updated Monday morning to correct a misstatement abou the company's growth plan.
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