As empty-nesters look to downsize their homes and many millennials eschew home ownership in favor of apartment living, the problem of what to do with all of their stuff has led to a surge in the development of self-storage facilities. For decades, there have been few developers in the eastern United States that boast as deep a resume of successful development of these spaces than, R&J client, The Hampshire Companies. Since 2012 Hampshire has repositioned or developed 53 self-storage facilities with an aggregate value of over $585 million. Presently, Hampshire has 15 self-storage development projects underway aggregating $240 million of investment. Clearly, the firm has made their mark in the asset class and their development of self-storage buildings designed to reflect and integrate into the surrounding community has made them a highly-attractive developer for local municipalities.
Unfortunately, a negative perception among the general public exists regarding self-storage facilities owing to a long history of facilities defined by cinderblock walls, rusting metal doors and nefarious activities conducted on their grounds. Although Hampshire takes pride in developing self-storage buildings that run counter to each of those notions, many people are unaware of the changing face of self-storage and are more likely to oppose a possible self-storage project in their town than support it.
As one of the leading developers in this field, R&J developed a pitch focused on Hampshire’s work in this area and the growth of these facilities across the region, particularly in northern New Jersey where Hampshire is based and performs a great deal of their development work.
R&J then worked with Meghan Grant, a reporter from The Record, the leading daily publication in northern New Jersey, to secure an online and print story for Hampshire focused on their self-storage development in northern Jersey. As a part of the story, R&J’s B2B team also worked with Extra Space Storage, the operator of Hampshire’s facilities in the area to coordinate two tours of unique Hampshire developed facilities in Westwood, N.J. and Bloomfield, N.J. The tours featured interviews with executives from both Hampshire and Extra Space Storage that shed light on Hampshire’s long history working in the asset class offered insights into why this asset class has become so popular as of late. The executives were also able to speak to how Hampshire was rethinking the traditional self-storage concept to create buildings that reflect the aesthetics of the community and can be viewed as amenities for local residents instead of burdens. The finished story in the area’s most heavily read daily publication enabled Hampshire to become the public face of one of the hottest investment sectors in the state and dispel many of the negative connotations surrounding it.