Skip to content

Bluebird Storage buys first B.C. outlet to complete national chain

The 121-year-old Victoria warehouse maybe the oldest storage facility in North America
New acquisition was once a horse stable and storage facility. Submitted

Bluebird Self Storage has acquired what may be the oldest self-storage facility in North America for its first Victoria outlet.

Bluebird Storage Management chief executive officer Jason Koonin told the Real Estate News Exchange that the four-storey, 16,000-square-foot building at 824 Johnson St. was built in 1901 and originally boarded horses, with a freight elevator used to get them to the upper floors. It’s been a storage facility since 1920, which Koonin said might make it the oldest of its kind on the continent.

It also effectively completes the company's efforts to create a coast-to-coast network of self-storage facilities under one owner and brand.

Terms weren’t disclosed for the acquisition of the City Centre Storage Ltd. building, which closed on Nov. 2, 2022.

It was difficult to find an available property on Vancouver Island that met Bluebird’s needs, and much time was spent on due diligence for the 824 Johnson St. building due to its age, according to Koonin.

The Victoria building is Bluebird’s first in British Columbia. The company had been in negotiations to acquire a Vancouver property before deciding not to move forward with it.

Koonin said Bluebird is in discussions to acquire other existing self-storage facilities and development sites in B.C. 

The company will update the Victoria property’s interior and amenities and replace its existing lockers. The site will remain open through the improvements, which will be undertaken in stages.

With locations now stretching from Victoria to Halifax, Toronto-based Bluebird has become Canada’s first coast-to-coast self-storage brand with all owned properties under the same banner. It operates facilities in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.