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Public Storage (PSA) Unveils Storage Units in Murfreesboro

Zacks Equity Research

Public Storage PSA recently unveiled fresh storage units in Murfreesboro, TN. The latest move comes as part of the company’s expansion efforts, which have contributed to the company’s 21% growth in the Nashville area, over the past year.

The facility, Public Storage 863 Fortress Blvd., Murfreesboro, TN 37128, has more than 800 storage units on site, in different sizes, with the majority being climate-controlled self-storage units. The property is likely to grab attention for its visibility from Fortress Boulevard. The location enjoys good access through nearby Interstate 24. Also, it is close to The Avenue Murfreesboro shopping center.

This marks the company’s first location in Murfreesboro and the third in the Nashville area opened over the past year. In fact, the company enhanced its presence in this region by rebuilding and expanding Public Storage 800 5th Ave S, Nashville TN 37023 and added Public Storage 512 26th Ave. N, Nashville TN 37209, during the past year. Throughout the state, the company now enjoys ownership of 35 storage facilities.

Notably, Public Storage’s latest expansion of its footprint in the region is a strategic fit as population is growing in Nashville by nearly 3% a year. Particularly, Murfreesboro — with an average home cost that’s still 16% less per square foot than Nashville per data from Zillow.com — is emerging as a more affordable choice for young families. According to the U.S. Census, over the last eight years, there has been a 30% surge in residents reaching about 141,000, currently. With several eminent employers having locations and jobs in the area, the unemployment rate is also low.

In fact, Public Storage has hinged upon acquisitions and expansion efforts to fortify its presence in other key cities. Since the beginning of 2013 through June 30, 2019, the company has acquired 318 facilities, with 22.1 million net rentable square feet from third parties, for approximately $2.9 billion. Additionally, it opened the newly-developed and expanded the self-storage space for a total cost of $1.5 billion, adding around 13.9 million net rentable square feet. Following Jun 30, 2019, the company has acquired or was under contract to acquire 10 self-storage facilities, spanning 0.8 million net rentable square feet of space, for $86.5 million.

Also, as of the same date, Public Storage had several facilities in development (1.1 million net rentable square feet), with an estimated cost of $189 million, as well as expansion projects (2.7 million net rentable square feet) worth roughly $332 million.

However, Public Storage operates in a highly fragmented market in the nation, with stiff competition from numerous private, regional and local operators. In addition, there is a development boom of self-storage units in many markets. This high supply is likely to intensify the competition, curb its power to raise rents and turn on discounting.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 27% over the past six months, outperforming its industry’s rally of 9.4%.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the real-estate space include Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. ARE, American Tower Corporation AMT, and HCP Inc. HCP, each carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Alexandria Real Estate’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 funds from operations (FFO) per share moved marginally north to $6.98 in the past month.

American Tower’s FFO per share estimates for the current year climbed 1% to $7.87 over the past month.

HCP’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for the ongoing year’s FFO per share moved up slightly to $1.75 in a week’ time.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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