The Company is a self-administered and self-managed real estate company that acquires, owns and manages self-storage properties. We refer to the self-storage properties in which we have an ownership interest, lease, and/or are managed by us as "Properties." We began operations on June 26, 1995. We were formed to continue the business of our predecessor company, which had engaged in the self-storage business since 1985. At December 31, 2018, we had an ownership interest in and/or managed 774 self-storage properties in 28 states under the name Life Storage ®. Among our 774 self-storage properties are 113 properties that we manage for unconsolidated joint ventures, 100 properties that we manage and have no ownership interest, and four properties that we lease. We believe we are the fifth largest operator of self-storage properties in the United States based on square feet owned and managed. Our Properties conduct business under the customer-friendly name Life Storage ®. In 2019, we began managing four properties located in the province of Ontario, Canada, under the Bluebird Self Storage brand for an unrelated entity.
At December 31, 2018, the Parent Company owned a direct or indirect interest in 674 of the Properties through the Operating Partnership, which includes 561 wholly-owned properties and 113 properties owned by unconsolidated joint ventures. In total, we own a 99.5% economic interest in the Operating Partnership and unaffiliated third parties collectively own a 0.5% limited partnership interest at December 31, 2018. We believe that this structure, commonly known as an umbrella partnership real estate investment trust ("UPREIT"), facilitates our ability to acquire properties by using units of the Operating Partnership as currency. By utilizing interests in the Operating Partnership as currency in facility acquisitions, we may partially defer the seller's income tax liability which in turn may allow us to obtain more favorable pricing.
The Parent Company was incorporated on April 19, 1995 under Maryland law. The Operating Partnership was formed on June 1, 1995 as a Delaware limited partnership and has engaged in virtually all aspects of the self-storage business, including the development, acquisition, management, ownership and operation of self-storage facilities. Our principal executive offices are located at 6467 Main Street, Williamsville, New York 14221, our telephone number is (716) 633-1850 and our website is www.lifestorage.com.