Morningstar purchases Jacksonville Marina

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Morningstar Properties acquired Jacksonville Marina as part of its joint venture with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, according to the Florida Times-Union.

The marina is the fourth marina joint venture between Matthews, N.C.-based Morningstar and Chicago-based Harrison Street and the 10th in the Morningstar Marinas portfolio.

Morningstar announced plans to dredge, replace the bulkhead, install new docks, and to upgrade the property’s appearance.

In an article that appeared last year in Soundings Trade Only, Stephen Benson and his son, Dave, owners of the company, said they want to own and manage as many as 25 marina properties by 2012.

Founded in the early 1980s, North Carolina-based Morningstar focused on the self-storage industry, ultimately becoming the 10th-largest storage operator in the country, with 5.5 million square feet of space and 70 properties.

In 2002, however, Morningstar entered into a partnership with publicly traded Sure Guard Self Storage and sold them a majority interest in the storage business.

At that time, the Bensons were looking for other businesses that would fit their areas of expertise, and marinas seemed to be a good match.

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