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On the heels of a pandemic business boom, Manhattan Mini Storage is exploring a sale — which will include their billboard locations. The company, New York’s largest self-storage provider, could go for more than $3 billion according to Crain’s.

Manhattan Mini Storage’s billboards have become a feature of the West Side Highway. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

Founded in 1978, the company now has 18 locations. True to the name, they are all in Manhattan — two of them in Hell’s Kitchen. More than 150,000 New Yorkers use their services each year and their facilities currently boast an occupancy rate greater than 95%. Manhattan Mini Storage “plays a critical role in the life of the space-starved New Yorker,” said Roy March, CEO of Eastdil Secured, the real estate investment bank that is facilitating the sale. 

The demand for self-storage rose as COVID-19 put many residents’ living situations in a state of flux. In the pandemic and post-pandemic landscape, self-storage facilities are seen as especially “resilient” assets by investors, Crain’s notes. 

Their W43rd Street location survived as the Market Diner was demolished on 11th Avenue and replaced by a Starbucks and Oskar. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

Even if you aren’t a customer, many New Yorkers know Manhattan Mini Storage for their cheeky ad campaigns. Billboards featuring topical, attention-grabbing taglines hang across their storage units on the West Side. Over the years the company has penned some unforgettable one-liners (“If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married”) and instigated at least one major sporting controversy with their hot take on the Mets: “Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and also the Mets?” Back in 2007, a billboard, with a picture of a chihuahua wearing pearls and headline saying: “Your closet’s so shallow it makes Paris look deep” garnered a cease and desist letter from Paris Hilton’s lawyer.

Manhattan Mini Storage’s pandemic campaign “Space for All”. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

“I like to think that we’ve had a long-term, ongoing conversation with New Yorkers,” Archie Gottesman, chief branding officer at Manhattan Mini Storage said in an interview with Fast Company. Hopefully, the new owner will keep the billboards coming.

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