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New Firm Targets Industrial Storage

REAL ESTATE: Steel Peak Launches to Serve Niche Market

Two long-time commercial real estate professionals, Blake Rodgers and Pasha Johnson, have formed their own firm to work in the niche field of buying outdoor industrial storage property.

Pasha Johnson
Co-founder
Steel Peak Properties

“This is typically stuff that you drive by and don’t notice,” Johnson said.

Calling their Encinitas-based company Steel Peak Properties, Rodgers and Johnson plan to acquire property that can be used for storing big bulky items outdoors, like cars, trucks, construction materials, and shipping containers.

“These tenants are a critical part of the supply chain, and they need the space, especially in infill communities, and it’s super hard to come by,” Johnson said.

He and Rodgers are looking for land valued at $2 million to $50 million that is either vacant or has less than 20% of the property covered by one or more buildings.

“The zoning needs to be heavy industrial,” Rodgers said. “Our target is to acquire about 10 properties this year.”

Outdoor industrial storage is considered a niche market because there are so few sites that qualify, Rodgers said.

Blake Rodgers
Co-founder
Steel Peak Properties

“Anything that does have excess land, in most infill markets, has already been developed,” Rodgers said, and often its development for apartments.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in demand for IOS (industrial outdoor storage) properties from national tenants that are competing to identify sites in an extremely supply constrained market,” Rodgers said.

Outdoor storage is attractive to some companies because rents are far less than for indoor storage sites.

“If you’re storing products indoors, you’re paying on average about $1.50 (per square foot). Outdoors, it would be about 30 cents,” Rodgers said. “There’s a cost savings and its more efficient for these guys.”

Typically, Rodgers said the outdoor storage users want long-term leases of 10 to 20 years.

Going National

To start, Steel Peak is a two-person operation, focusing on property within Southern California.

“Our goal is, in three years, to have a team of 10,” Rodgers said, adding that he and Johnson ultimately hope to invest in outdoor storage property throughout the U.S.

The company will keep its headquarters in Encinitas but will have offices in other locations “and grow the firm from there.”

Steel Peak Properties

Founded: 2024
Headquarters: Encinitas
Co-founders: Blake Rodgers and Pasha Johnson
Business: commercial real estate investment
Employees: 2
Website: www.steelpeakproperties.com
Contact: 858-247-2316; info@steelpeakproperties.com
Notable: Steel Peak Properties was formed to invest in industrial outdoor storage sites, a $200-billion asset class within the U.S.

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