Public Records

Storage unit giant buys Cortez facility

MANATEE -- A Utah-based self-storage giant has driven deeper roots into the Bradenton area storage market by spending millions on a property it already occupies.

Extra Space Storage, a Salt Lake City real estate investment trust, purchased a 49,850-square-foot building along with 3.7 acres at 1930 Cortez Road W. for $5.1 million on Dec. 23. According to Manatee County property records, the price is the highest ever paid for the property.

Investor Eric D. Howell, a principal with Baldwin-Howell Properties in Sarasota, was the seller. Howell purchased the property in 2001 for $1.325 million.

According to its website, Extra Space owns or operates more than 1,050 self-storage properties in 35 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Its facilities contain about 700,000 storage units and more than 80 million square feet of rentable storage space. It is the second-largest storage units operator in the U.S. Public Storage of Glendale, Calif., is the largest operator, with more than 151 million square feet of space. The Cortez Road property features storage units ranging in size between 25 and 400 square feet.

Extra Space owns another Bradenton location at 4010 State Road 64 E. That 69,000-square-foot storage facility last sold in 1999 for $3 million.

Howell is active in the commercial and residential real

estate markets in Manatee County. Last month, one of the companies he manages purchased the Centre Shops of Longboat Key. The 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive shopping center is home to The Lazy Lobster of Longboat Key restaurant.

Last January, he was also part of the $5.3 million purchase of 15 canal-side lots in an Anna Maria neighborhood formerly known as Villa Rosa Way. The lots are being developed as single-family home sites.

Howell has also recently invested in agricultural land. Last April, he purchase five parcels totaling 595 acres northeast of the intersection of U.S. 301 and Wauchula Road.

Neither Howell nor officials with Extra Space immediately responded to requests for comment on the storage facility transactions.

Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.