Auction.com has announced an expansion to its business with the formation of a new division focused on the buying and selling of self storage facilities. The nationwide self storage sector sees annual sales between $2 billion and $3 billion a year, with as many as 600 properties changing hands annually. Auction.com is opening an office in Seattle, its ninth nationwide office, to house the division.
Thatcher Milholland, a 20-plus-year industry veteran will lead the new division as vice president of Self Storage. Milholland brings an investment-heavy background that includes equity capital raising, and the acquisition of value-added self storage properties. Milholland will focus on educating the ownership and brokerage communities on Auction.com’s benefits, and bringing more self storage assets to the Auction.com platform by capitalizing on current trends in the sector.
“Auction.com has been selling self storage assets for our institutional clients since our company’s inception, and the addition of this new division reflects an increased focus on this growing sector,” said Gordon Smith, general manager of Auction.com’s commercial real estate division. “We feel Thatcher Milholland has the background and sector experience to help us take the next step in expanding this part of our business.”
Milholland joins Auction.com from Unico Properties, where as a director he was responsible for equity capital raising, fund formations and corporate recapitalization and portfolio management. Previously, he was a principal at Store It Here, a national self-storage company with an e-commerce component he also developed. Milholland also served as an investment professional at JP Morgan, Divco West Properties and Guggenheim Real Estate.
“Self storage properties are perfectly suited for transacting online since investment decisions in this asset class tend to be largely objective, based on criteria like location and traffic counts,” Milholland said. “Auction.com’s ability to expose these properties to potential buyers from around the globe opens up tremendous opportunities for self storage facility owners and their brokers.”