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CBRE Pays Nate Paul's World Class $588M For 64-Property Self-Storage Portfolio


World Class Holdings, run by embattled Texas real estate mogul Nate Paul, has sold a 64-property self-storage portfolio out of bankruptcy to CBRE and facility operator The William Warren Group/StorQuest for $588M.

Last year, the prospect of foreclosure by a lender spurred Paul to put the self-storage portfolio into bankruptcy. World Class Holdings stands to make as much as $178.8M from the deal before paying creditors, which would reduce the take to about $95M, The Real Deal reports.

Paul began investing in self-storage in 2008, acquiring properties from independent owners and real estate investment trusts. By 2017, World Class had about $1.2B in assets, Forbes reported, including self-storage, office space and retail.

The World Class portfolio bankruptcy hasn't been Paul's only trouble in recent years. In 2019, the FBI raided Paul's home and office. Afterward, Paul, who denied any wrongdoing, sued the FBI, claiming the agency violated his civil rights.

In 2020, Paul approached the Texas attorney general's office to complain about the raid. Later, four agency officials, who were fired after accusing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of improperly helping Paul, filed a whistleblower lawsuit over the matter. Paul and Paxton both have denied wrongdoing in that case.

In 2019, another of Paul's companies, Great Value Storage, defaulted on an $82M mezzanine loan from TIAA. Last March, RREF Storage, a subsidiary of Related Cos., acquired the loan, and Great Value filed for bankruptcy last April.

The self-storage properties World Class Holdings sold are in 10 states: Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, New York and Nevada. The sale didn't include any of Paul's facilities in California or any of the firm's new self-storage developments nationally.