In November 2021, Blackstone Real Estate Partners acquired our joint-venture partnership business; Fort Knox Self Storage, giving Blackstone a premium portfolio of self-storage assets throughout Melbourne.

The transaction marks one of the largest self-storage transactions in Australia.

Fort Knox Self Storage has been the outcome of a business partnership that has flourished for over 24 years. Starting in 1998, when McMullin and the Wilson Family joined forces to develop what was then a single self-storage site in Dandenong to what grew to become one of Victoria’s most recognised self-storage brands, in 2021, operating 11 locations throughout Melbourne and employing over 50 staff.

“We are pleased to begin our partnership with Fort Knox and grow our self-storage footprint in Australia. Backed by Blackstone’s scale and expertise, we aim to help Fort Knox expand and scale operations to accommodate customers’ increasing demand for high-quality storage space nationally. Self-storage is a rapidly growing trend in Australia, underpinned by its rising population particularly in urban areas like Melbourne and the country’s e-commerce boom.” said Blackstones head of Real Estate Australia Chris Tynan

Blackstone was attracted to the Fort Knox businesses, as the 11 state-of-the-art facilities were well spread across Melbourne’s residential areas, which have seen strong population growth and that sit within close proximity to major road infrastructure and demographic catchments.

They also considered the strong rise of e-commerce as a propellor of Australia’s self-storage sector. Australia is currently the 11th largest e-commerce market in the world, and revenue is predicted to jump to US$32 billion by 2024 from nearly US$26 billion in 2020, a year-on-year increase of about 16%. Demand has been further fueled during the pandemic as people have sought well-managed self-storage spaces to support more flexible living and working arrangements.

This transaction marks Blackstone’s second self-storage investment in Australia, following its successful acquisition of the KeepSafe portfolio in Perth, Western Australia, earlier this year. In Hong Kong, Blackstone owns a majority stake in two self-storage assets. Similarly, in the United States, Blackstone completed its acquisition of Simply Self Storage in December 2020.

About Blackstone Real Estate
Blackstone is a global leader in real estate investing. Blackstone’s real estate business was founded in 1991 and has US$230 billion of investor capital under management. Blackstone is the largest owner of commercial real estate globally, owning and operating assets across every major geography and sector, including logistics, multifamily and single-family housing, office, hospitality and retail. Our opportunistic funds seek to acquire undermanaged, well-located assets across the world. Blackstone’s Core+ strategy comprises open-ended funds that invest in substantially stabilized real estate assets globally and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (BREIT), a non-listed REIT that invests in U.S. income-generating assets. Blackstone Real Estate also operates as one of the leading global real estate debt businesses, providing comprehensive financing solutions across the capital structure and risk spectrum, including management of Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NYSE: BXMT).