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Growth Strategy

Our growth strategy*

Since listing in November 2015, the Group has consistently delivered on all strategic initiatives and grown the portfolio from 24 to 97 properties, representing approximately R16.2 billion1 in value. The South African portfolio comprises 60 properties and represents a value of c. R5.85 billion1, while the UK portfolio under the brand Storage King, comprises 37 properties and represents a value of c. R10.37 billion1.

We conduct our strategic growth planning in five-year cycles. We are currently in the third year of the cycle ending 2025, and have undertaken strategic and meticulous planning for the five-year period. A key focus remains our digital transformation strategy which significantly influences our business strategy.

We intend to continue growing the portfolio and enhancing performance and investor returns by:

Our growth strategy 2021

Our growth strategy for the South African market

The strategy seeks to maintain Stor-Age’s position as the leading and largest self storage property fund and brand in South Africa:

  • Largest store footprint
  • Quality stores in high-profile and convenient locations
  • Prominent and easily accessible
  • The benchmark for modern, urban self storage development

To inform our strategic cycle to 2025, in 2020 we revisited the four major research projects completed in 2015 with a specific focus on supply levels, anticipated demand, customer profiling and consumer demographics. These projects give us key insights which inform and optimise our growth strategy, allowing us to better understand our residential and business customers, and anticipate future demand.

While we see an opportunity to acquire existing properties, our new development strategy is detailed, with a focus on high barrier to entry areas in our core markets. Our plan to 2025 includes growing the South African portfolio to 70+ properties.

Our growth strategy for the UK market

Our business plan for Storage King is guided by our strategic and long-term focus on growing and optimally positioning our UK property portfolio and continuing to leverage our high quality in-place self storage management platform.

During the year, we continued to focus on key high-impact foundational areas to position Storage King optimally for future growth. We continued to make significant progress in integrating key South African-based head office support services into the Storage King platform. In addition to the property strategy outlined below, we continued to see the positive impact on enquiry generation during the year as a result of successfully leveraging our digital marketing capability into the UK.

Our five-year strategy for the UK market to 2025 seeks to grow the portfolio through a combination of acquiring existing self storage properties, developing new properties in key target areas and adding trading properties to our third-party management platform – Management 1st. We have identified a growth target of an average of two to four properties per annum.

Key features of the medium-term growth plan include:

Acquiring existing self storage properties that meet Storage King’s acquisition criteria:

Developing investment grade self storage properties in prominent, visible, convenient and accessible locations:

  • Good locations in strategic and regional cities
  • Within/close to attractive urban or suburban nodes
  • Ideally within/close to a retail corridor
  • Ideally located with main road frontage to passing traffic
  • Minimum requirements targeted
    • 30 000+ sqf maximum lettable area (MLA)
    • 75 000+ population, 20 minute drive time
  • Key locations in strategic and regional cities
  • Big Box (greenfield) – high density retail or commercial type nodes, within attractive urban/suburban areas and with main road frontage to passing traffic (typically multi-storey)
  • Conversions (brownfield) – conversion of existing buildings in retail or commercial type nodes in close proximity to dense urban areas
  • Minimum requirements targeted
    • 45 000+ sqf MLA
    • 100 000+ population, 20 minute drive time

Joint Ventures in South Africa and the UK

To further enable the Group to take advantage of expansion opportunities, in recent years we have formed selected joint ventures (JVs) with real estate and investment partners to acquire and develop new self storage properties. These JVs allow Stor-Age to grow and achieve further scale in South Africa and the UK whilst providing an attractive return on invested capital.

The JVs also allow for the mitigation of the financial impact of the lease-up of newly developed self storage properties which can take a number of years to reach a stabilised and mature level of occupancy. Moving forward, it is anticipated that the majority of new developments will be completed in a JV structure with a development partner.

All JV properties are either branded and managed by Stor-Age in South Africa, or Storage King in the UK. The JVs also enable the Group to leverage the management platform, through the generation of acquisition and ongoing property management fees.

Garden Cities

In September 2019 Stor-Age entered into a JV with Garden Cities to develop a site in Sunningdale in Cape Town. The property, comprising 6 300 m2 GLA, commenced trading in April 2021. An independent, Cape Town-based property development company, Garden Cities has a more than 100 year track record of successfully developing residential suburbs in the Western Cape. The JV came about as a result of Stor-Age having successfully developed its Edgemead and Pinehurst properties, with both of these residential townships having been originally developed by Garden Cities. Stor-Age has a 50% equity interest in the JV.


Entered into in October 2020, the JV with Moorfield aims to assemble a portfolio of high-quality self storage properties in prime locations in England through acquisitions and new developments. Stor-Age has a 24.9% equity interest in the JV. Moorfield is a long-established, leading UK real estate fund manager with a more than 25-year track record of successfully investing in multiple real estate subsectors. The JV provides an attractive return on invested capital, thus presenting an avenue for Stor-Age to compete in a highly sought-after and competitive first world market by providing access to high quality self storage assets at attractive yields. To date, the JV has committed approximately £125 million to acquisitions and new developments. Development properties forming part of the Moorfield JV include Heathrow, Bath, Canterbury, West Bromwich and Acton. In addition, the four-store Storagebase portfolio in the UK was acquired within the JV.


In September 2021, Stor-Age entered into a JV with Nedbank Corporate and Investment Bank (“Nedbank”) to initially develop two high profile properties in Morningside and Bryanston. Two further properties were developed in the JV, in Pinelands and Paarden Eiland in Cape Town. The JV has also subsequently embarked on the development of the Kramerville property. Nedbank has been a primary debt funder to Stor-Age for more than a decade and has a detailed understanding of the self storage asset class. Each party owns a 50% equity interest in the JV.


Stor-Age entered into a JV with the Rabie Property Group (“Rabie”) in December 2022 to co-develop a property in Century City, Cape Town, with an estimated 6 100 m2 GLA and at an estimated development cost of R96 million. Rabie is an independent, Cape Town-based property development company operating predominantly in the Western Cape. Each party has a 50% equity interest in the JV.


Stor-Age entered into a JV with Nuveen Real Estate (“Nuveen”) in April 2023. Nuveen, which made its entry into the European self storage market in Sweden in late 2021, is one of the largest, most established global investment managers with USD154 billion of assets under management and an 85-year investment track record. Nuveen holds 90% and Stor-Age a 10% equity interest in the JV respectively. In April 2023 the JV acquired Easistore, a four-store portfolio in the UK with properties located in Kent and West Sussex. The initial objective of the JV is to implement the portfolio rebrand and management platform overlay, with a view to expanding Nuveen’s exposure to self storage assets across the UK over the medium term.

Leasehold ownership

Storage King maintains a flexible approach to leasehold and freehold property ownership, which enables it to grow the business, secure prime locations and position the portfolio optimally.

While Storage King’s approach to leasehold property valuation is based conservatively on future cash flows until the next contractual lease renewal date, it has a demonstrable track record of successfully regearing leases several years before renewal. Storage King benefits from the Landlord and Tenant Act, which protects its right of renewal except in the case of redevelopment. In addition, the vast majority of Storage King’s leasehold properties are located in retail parks and/or have building characteristics that make their current usage either the optimal or best use of the property.

Furthermore, as property investors, Storage King’s landlords value the quality of Storage King as a tenant and often extend the length of the leases in their portfolios. This enables Storage King to maintain favourable terms.

Ultimately, maintaining a flexible approach to leasehold ownership as part of a broader portfolio assembly strategy has allowed Storage King to operate from properties that would otherwise have been unavailable.

Our future growth strategy

Stor-Age is a sector specialist with deep product understanding and significant emerging and first world market experience, boasting a successful track record of developing, acquiring and managing self storage assets. Driven by societal trends including consumerism, densification and an increasingly mobile population, self storage remains a resilient niche sector with excellent growth opportunities globally.

We continue to see attractive opportunities to grow our portfolios in South Africa and the UK. The strategy will see us continuing to target value enhancing independent operators for acquisition, while new developments will principally be targeted at prominent high-barrier-to-entry big-box properties in outstanding locations.

* As at 30 September 2023

1 Includes 100% of trading properties held in JVs and managed by the Group