In 1972 Neville Kennard, then Managing Director of Kennards Hire Service on a visit to the United States, first saw a "Mini Storage" - rows and rows of garages with roller doors at a facility in California.
The idea clicked in Neville's mind, so he came back and built six 20ft x 10ft storage units behind the Kennards Hire Centre at Newbridge Road, Moorebank - Australia's first self storage! With a sign out the front saying "Kennards Mini Storage" and a small Yellow Pages ad, the spaces were rented and more were built progressively until the available land was full with about 100 units.
Properties were gradually acquired and developed during the 1980s.
In 1981 a big old wool store in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane was on the market, so the decision was made to form a company to specialise in stand-alone self storage facilities. Thus Easi Stor Pty Limited was formed to acquire, develop and market a chain of self storage centres.
During this time, 9 properties were opened.
Even after the real estate boom of the late 80’s, the company continued to actively look to grow throughout the next decade. The style of development was improved and individual door alarms were introduced to all developments from 1994.
1991 the decision to use the name Kennards Self Storage was made and the 9 properties were re-badged.
Sam Kennard became the Managing Director in 1995, and Neville continued to help with Acquisition and development.
In 1997, the company began its Melbourne expansion with the acquisition of Huntingdale.
The focus on particular investment criteria sharpened and properties were selectively acquired and developed. There were 14 new Self Storage Centres acquired and developed in the 1990's.
The growth programme continued, and two properties were opened in Adelaide in 2000-2001. Wine Storage was developed and introduced to numerous locations.
There are now 15 wine storage locations.
Up to 2003, the company added another 2 new self storage centres.
In 2004, Kennards Self Storage teamed up with Valad Property Group to successfully acquire 24 self storage properties operating under the Millers Self Storage brand. Valad is a Real Estate Investment Trust (R.E.I.T.) listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, with investments in office, industrial, bulky goods retail as well as self storage.
The partnership was 50:50 in the acquisition of the Millers sites. Kennards retained independent ownership of its existing properties and manages the business for the joint venture.
The 2004 acquisition grew the Kennards group to 56 locations in total.
The Millers properties were re-branded to Kennards in 2005.
In 2007, the Kennards Valad Partnership acquired 8 locations in New Zealand. The properties are located in Auckland and other North Island provincial areas.
By 2008, the Kennards brand has 69 locations open with 3 additional locations under construction or planning. It has in excess of 400 000 square metres of space available and employs over 200 people.
In June 2008, Kennards agreed terms to acquire Valads interest in the partnership that commenced in 2004. The acquisition involved 38 properties. This is a significant step for Kennards which remains privately owned.
Since 2010, the company has continued its expansion with growth of existing centres and addition of several new locations.
The period began with the $27 million purchase of the Moore Park centre in 2011.
Sadly, the Founder of Kennards Self Storage, Neville Kennard, pased away on June 3rd, 2012. Nev's sons, Sam, Walter and Jim now own the business and proudly perpetuate the organisations great Brand and legacy in private family ownership.
Life begins at 40!
In 2013, Kennards Self Storage will celebrate 40 years of operations since its inception in 1973. This is a significant milestone for the organisation.
Six new locations were opened in 2013, including the $17 million acquisition of a four centre portfolio in South-East Queensland. Kennards had 79 locations and 510,000 square metres of space at year-end.