NYX Expands Bluebird Self-Storage JV, Plans Res Developments

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NYX Capital Corp. and Bluebird Self Storage have acquired a commercial building on 2.15 acres of industrial land in Montreal for their first development outside of Ontario.

“We are very bullish on self-storage assets and we’re trying to expand our portfolio across Canada,” NYX chief executive officer Yashar Fatehi told RENX. “Montreal is one of the best markets in terms of self-storage. The supply is much lower than the national average.”

The purchase price and seller weren’t disclosed for the project, which will be the ninth collaboration between NYX and Bluebird.

The plan is to demolish the existing building at 5715-5785 Metropolitan Blvd. in the Saint-Leonard district and build a 120,000-square-foot, class-A storage facility similar to projects the two partners have done in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

“It’s an up-and-coming area with quite a bit of residential development around it,” said Fatehi. “What we’re looking for is a large population in the vicinity that will provide a continuous flow of clients and customers for our self-storage facilities.”

Fatehi expects it will take a year to obtain the necessary approvals and permits and another year for construction, so a late 2023 or early 2024 opening is being targeted.

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Vancouver self-storage facility will be next

NYX and Bluebird will open their first self-storage facility in Vancouver, close to the Gastown neighbourhood, in September or October. The three-floor, 69,000-square-foot facility is part of a new mixed-use development with an office building and retail at grade.

“It’s a market that’s hard to get into because land prices are so high,” said Fatehi. “Finding the right location at the right price which could justify self-storage development is very tough in Vancouver.”

Fatehi said NYX is working with Vancouver developers to try to find existing buildings and convert them to self-storage facilities. He expects these facilities to be in the 50,000- to 70,000-square-foot range, which is smaller than the partners have opted for in the GTHA.

NYX is continuing to develop 2.6 acres of employment land at 2068-2078 South Sheridan Way in Mississauga that it acquired two years ago.

It partnered with Bluebird to demolish two buildings on the property to build and operate a five-storey, 169,000-square-foot self-storage facility consisting of 1,220 climate-controlled units and 26 drive-up units. It’s expected to open in early 2022.

NYX and Bluebird continue to seek sites in the GTHA and will open 120,000- and 130,000-square-foot facilities in Mississauga in 2022 and 2023.

“Our partnership with Bluebird has worked very well,” said Fatehi. “They’re very efficient at targeting sites and developing them, building them or retrofitting them. Bluebird is a great operator for us to operate these assets long-term with.”

Fatehi noted NYX and Bluebird are equal partners in their projects. NYX has five institutional investors involved in its funds which are investing in the assets. 

Non-self-storage projects from NYX Capital

NYX is a Toronto-based private equity real estate firm with investments in commercial, residential, industrial and self-storage development projects throughout Canada. It has 3.8 million square feet of assets under management and development valued at $840 million.

Fatehi provided updates on two of NYX’s non-self-storage projects.

In December the company announced the assembly of 12 Toronto properties on Yonge Street near Lawrence Avenue that comprise a 0.47-acre site where it has proposed a 12-storey, 109-unit condominium with retail at grade.

It’s going through the entitlement and zoning process and Fatehi expects it will take a year-and-a-half before receiving all of the approvals to move forward.

The company owns a 4.6-acre site in Mississauga’s Streetsville area. It’s hoping to get final approvals this fall to develop 147 townhomes for a family-oriented project with plenty of green space called Tannery Townhomes. Construction is expected to begin in 2022.

Sale of Henderson Townhomes

NYX received approvals late last year for the 374,000-square-foot Henderson Townhomes development on a 7.7-acre site that was formerly zoned industrial at 12 Henderson Ave. in downtown Brampton. It had planned to build 152 back-to-back stacked townhomes and 250 apartment units.

NYX, however, sold the project to Umbria Development Group for $19.5 million in June and will use that money for other projects.

“Anything is for sale for the right price,” said Fatehi. “We thought the price we were offered was the right price to sell and exit the project.

“These decisions are usually tough because you usually want to see your projects go all the way to the end. But if an opportunity comes and someone knocks on your door and makes the right offer, you never know. It may happen. It was purely financial.”

There are no plans for any other dispositions at this point, according to Fatehi.

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Meghan Cox

Meghan Cox is an expert with years of experience in business development, real estate and coaching with a B.A. in Communication from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.