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Starwood REIT And Morningstar Properties Target Self-Storage Sector Through New JV

Starwood Real Estate Income Trust and Morningstar Properties have formed a joint venture to invest in the "resilient" self-storage sector, according to a Tuesday release

The new entity will recapitalize 25 self-storage assets already owned by Morningstar funds and invest in additional assets to be operated under the Morningstar brand. The joint venture will look to buy both one-off assets and portfolios.

Self-storage is an attractive asset class for investors.

The existing portfolio includes 1.8M SF of storage space located throughout the Sun Belt region, "which is experiencing significant population, employment and income growth," according to the release. 

"The sector's stable cash flows fit well with SREIT's yield and long-term hold objectives," Starwood Capital Managing Director Ethan Bing said in a statement. "Morningstar is a best-in-class branded operator and this partnership provides immediate scale in a fragmented sector in addition to creating a platform for substantial growth."

Starwood Capital Group is a Miami Beach-based behemoth private investment firm with $105B of assets under management with several REITS under its umbrella. Not to be confused with Starwood Property Trust — which trades on the New York Stock Exchange — Starwood Real Estate Income Trust is a nontraded NAV REIT whose portfolio, as of November, included $18.2B of assets across 334 properties. 

Not to be confused with Morningstar Inc. — a financial services firm that trades on Nasdaq — Morningstar Properties is a 40-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm that serves as fund manager, developer, owner and operator, with a focus on specialty properties across a dozen states. With its Morningstar Storage and Morningstar Marinas brands, the company manages 88 storage properties and five marinas, according to its website.

Starwood Real Estate Income Trust in November bought a multifamily housing portfolio consisting of 15,460 units in 62 communities across 10 states from San Diego-based Strata Equity Group. The REIT's portfolio also includes hotels, industrial, office and other residential properties, as well as loans.