Storefriendly, the Asia self-storage operator backed by investment giant Blackstone, introduced its two latest locations this past week at redeveloped properties on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories.
Storefriendly Tower Island East, completed last October, held a grand opening on Wednesday at the site of the former Elegance Printing Centre on Kung Ngam Village Road in Shau Kei Wan. US-based Blackstone had purchased the building in November 2021 for HK$500 million ($64 million) from the family of late “Shop King” Tang Shing-bor.
Storefriendly Tower Metropolis East, finished in February of last year, occupies the site of the former Yip’s Chemical Building on Yip Cheong Street in Fanling. Blackstone bought the building, renamed to reflect Hong Kong’s Northern Metropolis initiative, for HK$282.6 million around September 2021.
“Going forward, the group will continue to launch additional Storefriendly Towers in Hong Kong to benefit residents in various districts and address their household storage needs,” said Storefriendly chairman Kevin Chan.
The seven-storey Storefriendly Tower Island East offers more than 70,000 square feet (6,503 square metres) of gross floor area near Shau Kei Wan MTR station. Limited development plots on Hong Kong Island translate to relatively scarce storage facilities, making the tower a valuable addition to the area, Storefriendly said.
Storefriendly Tower Metropolis East provides 60,000 square feet of space across seven floors with proximity to Fanling MTR station and Henderson Land’s Fanling Centre shopping arcade.
The new openings come after Blackstone acquired at least four ageing properties in the city for refurbishment as Storefriendly Towers since 2021, most recently having picked up a Kowloon industrial asset last October.
The fund management titan bought the Novel Industrial Building in Cheung Sha Wan from the family of the late “Wool Magnate” Chao Kuang Piu for a reported HK$850 million. The redeveloped project is scheduled to open this June as Storefriendly Tower Peninsula West, providing 150,000 square feet of space at the 12-storey building.
In April 2021, Blackstone purchased the 10-storey New Media Tower on Hung To Road in Kwun Tong district from local conglomerate Emperor Group for HK$508 million, with the property now doing business as the 90,000 square foot Storefriendly Tower Peninsula East. Storefriendly Towers are situated near MRT stations and feature a range of services such as 24/7 access, safe deposit boxes and wine cellar storage to cater to residents of the densely packed territory.
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Founded in 2002, Storefriendly operates more than 130 branches with a total floor area in excess of 2 million square feet, more than half of which are self-owned properties.
“Hong Kong has solid economic fundamentals and promising long-term development prospects,” said Arthur Law, managing partner of Storefriendly. “There is also strong demand for premium en bloc self-storage facilities. We will continue to expand in Asia and pursue strategic acquisitions and investments in the region.”
Global private equity players have been competing to expand their self-storage platforms in Hong Kong, with Warburg Pincus-backed Storhub having acquired a number of properties in the city last year, including buying two floors in the Precious Industrial Centre in Cheung Sha Wan for a combined HK$98 million ($12.4 million) in October last year, according to Land Registry records seen by Mingtiandi.
During September of last year Brookfield Asset Management closed on a purchase of a pair of industrial units in Hong Kong’s Chai Wan Industrial Centre as the Canadian giant continues to expand its RedBox self-storage business in the city.