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Waking The Monster..

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Though storage condominiums are similar to traditional self-storage in some ways, they target a different breed of customer. Learn the differences between the two models and how they can coexist as complementary businesses. Ted Deits | Apr 04, 2020 While storage condominiums are similar to traditional self-storage in many ways, the model targets and attracts a very different breed of buyer. The operative word there, of course, is “buyer,” not “renter.”

Typically, customers are attracted to storage condos after having an extended, negative experience at a traditional self-storage property. Frustrations often surface around access-hour restrictions, limitations on what can be done within the unit, and the irritation of paying monthly rent with no possible return on investment (ROI). Storage-condo owners enjoy a fixed cost each month, with the possibility of asset appreciation over time, without ever having to worry about rent increases.

Another key difference between the two business models is most self-storage facilities don’t offer units larger than 400 square feet. This is understandable from the owner’s perspective because the ROI is typically much lower on larger units. Further, developers of pure industrial properties tend to stay away from units smaller than 1,500 square feet, since the construction cost is much higher than with large, tilt-up buildings. This has left a gap in the market for storage units from 400 to 1,500 square feet. The storage-condo concept has begun to fill it.

Peaceful Coexistence

Despite their differences, storage condos and self-storage facilities can coexist in harmony. In fact, our condo property in Palm Springs, Calif., has a self-storage business directly next door. When the self-storage operation can’t meet the need for a large unit, the customer often takes a hard look at the storage condos next door. In fact, we can attribute about 20 percent of our sales directly to referrals from our self-storage neighbor.

But even though the two models have good synergy as separate entities, don’t get fooled into thinking you can mix rentals into a storage-condo project. Many condo builders lean toward a mix of rentals controlled by the developer along with some outright sales. This has been a recipe for disaster.

Condo buyers really take ownership to heart. They tend to be very protective of their property and guard every aspect of the development. They view transient renters poorly, believing they don’t take care of the property as well as those with an ownership stake. And, for the most part, they’re correct. When you mix both models together on the same property, a division of classes—renters vs. owners—tends to occur. It can get very nasty, and renters wind up not feeling very welcome. During annual owners’ meetings, most of the time and energy is spent fielding complaints about renter behavior. The general feeling is anything out of order on the property is renters’ fault. It’s an exercise in futility that ultimate makes the developer an enemy.

A Nice Complement

Those in the self-storage business who are thinking about developing storage condos should consider building the site as close to their existing self-storage property as possible. While the market for condos is currently rather small, the concept is growing quickly. If you conduct a quick Google search for storage condos or garage condos, you’ll see what I mean.

The only real Achilles heel to the storage-condo concept is a lack of take-out financing for prospective unit buyers. Generally, your construction lender will be willing to provide short-term financing. The required down payment may be 30 percent to 40 percent, with a relatively short loan term of five to seven years. This limits buyers to the upper 5 percent of the potential market. Not everyone can afford that down payment. If 20- or 30-year financing becomes available, there’ll be no stopping this concept, but as it stands, the lack of financing limits your target demographics to the “upper crust” of your market.

Property owners who have experience in building and stabilizing self-storage facilities will have an easy time creating storage condos with just a little common sense and research. The construction costs are slightly higher, but the ROI is measured in months, not years.

Ted Deits is the owner and developer of Monstore Garages in Beaumont and Palm Springs, Calif., which offers private storage condominiums. He’s had a varied career, including being an early developer of PC accounting software, creating the first website to report worldwide ocean and surfing conditions, and a stint as an on-air personality for Los Angeles radio station KFWB. He built his first storage-condo facility in 2006. Additional Monstore locations are in development in Arizona, California and Nevada. For more information, call 714.928.0527; e-mail ted@monstoregarages.com; visit www.monstoregarages.com.

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A few months ago we wrote about a seemingly novel concept that came out of Southern California – RV storage condos. For prices starting at $90,000 and running up to $175,000 (big enough at 5,400 square feet to store two big motorcoaches), you could own a covered, secured, plush garage for your rig.

At the time we made the case it seemed like an awful lot of money to invest in a fancy garage. And we took some heat from readers who thought we were way off base criticizing the idea. Well, maybe they were right. Those storage condos in Beaumont, California, have all sold out. And if you’d like to buy one from somebody who’s vacating, you’ll need to get on a waiting list. Even so, don’t expect to land a unit. According to Ted Deits, the man who developed the complex, when a unit becomes available it typically sells the same day. Ted has a new complex of units in Palm Springs, California, and nearly two-thirds of those are sold out. More--->
Beyond the basics, like a covered shelter for any size RV, they have everything. Basically the only thing one cannot do in their RV condos is live in them. They have full electric hookups, a 2,700 square foot clubhouse with TVs, comfy furniture, showers and laundry, plus a wash area with pressure washers, hoses, ladders, and towels. Basically a spa for your RV. Beyond that, the garages can be used for working on vehicles.

As stated in the FAQ section, Deits writes, "Yes, without question to people asking if the garage can be used for maintenance. In designing these units, I had that purpose in mind. I live in a Condominium project, and there are stiff restrictions on using your garage for anything but parking a car in it. How nice, I thought, if I could create a space for people like myself, to go in and tinker with my car, boat, RV, motorhome, camper, etc." More--->
As such, there’s been a rise in demand for both RV rental facilities as well as for-sale RV storage in the form of garages condos. Storage facility operators are also well positioned to manage the rental of consigned RVs as an incremental revenue source, notes Jon Gray, CEO of RVShare, an Akron, Ohio-based peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace.

“As the US becomes more urban, the desire to leverage RVs to get back out into nature and onto the road is higher than ever,” Gray said. RV storage development hotter than ever

Caesar Wright, president of Carlsbad, CA-based Mako Steel, notes that RV self-storage “is about as hot” as he’s ever seen it.

“RV and boat storage interest is through the roof,” he said. “Demand is particularly high up and down the California coast where the supply of places to store RVs and boats is very limited.”

The biggest challenge for developers seeking to build RV storage facilities is that it’s more land intensive compared to conventional self-storage, Wright pointed out.

“The parcel sizes need to be bigger to accommodate a wider turning radius and drive aisle widths,” he added.

Standard drive aisle widths are usually about 50 feet wide for enclosed RV units while the standard bay width for traditional enclosed units are 14 feet wide according to Wright. With such large aisle widths, developers need at least five-acre parcels to make a project pencil. Also, prime locations won’t make much sense because land costs will cut into ROI.

“RV owners don’t have the ability to go around the corner and find a storage unit since it’s not as readily available as traditional self-storage,” Wright said. More--->
RV Storage, a truly unique storage solution, is coming to Palm Springs this summer. Owners of expensive recreational vehicles, collectible cars and boats are turning to a relatively new concept, Monstore Garages, Garage Condominiums.

While strong RV sales have fueled demand for RV storage facilities, along with skyrocketing real estate prices, one developer has come up with a remarkably brilliant solution for RV storage. More--->
RV Travel Newsletter, By Russ and Tiña De Maris - Some say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Well, I think we may have to beg to differ on one item: RV storage in California. We don’t mean bigger as in square footage, but certainly bigger, as in price! Case in point: Want to keep your Class A under cover? Ted Deits, founding father of Monstore Garages out of Palm Springs, is ready to set you and your RV up with his newest concept: Garage Condominiums. To quote the company line, “After shelling out big bucks for a big toy, these owners don’t balk at paying $90,000 to $175,000 for a secure place to keep it.”.

Ted’s big “Monstores” come on a deeded patch of land – condo-style. Roll open your door, back in your rig, turn on the lights and stereo, and settle back in for a few hours. Dave Gandolfo, the project developer, crows, “Garage condominiums fill the gap between self storage closets, and full warehouses, with the added benefit of full ownership.” Your custom designed interior can come equipped with lofts, custom wall treatments, and posh bathrooms. Hey, why even take the RV out? “Let’s spend the weekend at the condo, dear!” Sorry! No overnighting allowed in these storage palaces, but put your feet up on the coffee table and have a martini... More--->
Owners of expensive recreational vehicles, collectible cars and boats are turning to a relatively new hot concept, Garage Condominiums. After shelling out big bucks for a big toy, these owners don’t balk at paying $90,000 to $175,000 for a secure place to keep it.

Ownership is the same as any other real estate, except you can't live in the garages, even though some have bathrooms and showers. Many have customized the interiors with bars, lofts, and custom wall treatments. A Man Cave in every sense of the word. The benefits don't stop there. Ted Deits, pioneer developer of Eucalyptus at Beaumont said, "when I first announced I was going to sell storage, many thought I was crazy." Deits continued, "the math simply works and we have now proven the concept." Ted Deits said, "those that bought my garage condos, and later sold them, never spent a single penny." "Every resold garage condominium netted the owners a profit above and beyond all costs," Deits said. More--->
When a garage is too small, and a warehouse is too large, people are turning to Garage Condominiums, the latest hot trend in real estate.

While strong RV sales have fueled a demand for RV storage facilities, skyrocketing real estate prices limit rental spaces, as many campers are discovering, the price for RV ownership may include buying a home for the home away from home. Not only are RV owners being effected, but so a owners of smaller recreational vehicles, such as off road vehicles, boats, and car collections. They simply don't have the room to store all of their big boys toys. Art Linkletter, the father of the self storage concept, years ago More--->
Monstore Garages, Palm Springs, the brain child of David Gandolfo, who began construction last year on 40 garage condominiums. Dave said, “There is a definite gap in the market for the individual who’s needs are more than just a home sized garage for all of their possessions. Those with RV’s or collector cars have long needed a place to store, tinker, and protect their investments,” Dave said.

Ted Deits developer of Eucalyptus at Beaumont Storage Condominiums, joined forces with David recently. Deits said, “The pace of sales, and the value appreciation of these garage condominiums have been spectacular.” Deits continued, “It made sense that Dave and I joined forces to bring another project to the desert as demand continues to grow, and clients are left wanting more.”

Among the most notable features at MonSTORE Garages are the aircraft hanger doors, with door widths up to 40’ or more, making entry and exit easy for those with larger vehicles.

People with the money to afford those kinds of toys are quite likely willing to go the extra mile when it comes to storing them. They may also be up for a good investment; something that could later turn them a tidy profit. That is where storage condominiums come in hand. More--->
A portion of the land where 2200 RVs sit today is among the 688 acres being developed by FivePoint with sports fields and other recreational amenities for the city of Irvine, in exchange for permission to build more houses around the park. But the majority of the acreage is slated for a state veterans cemetery. That proposal is being put together by the California Department of Veterans Affairs, or CalVet. In 2016 an application will go to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for funds to build and operate the cemetery. More--->
Eucalyptus at Beaumont Garage Condominiums, one of the first such developments in California, and has pioneered the concept of Condominium Garage ownership. “Sales have been extraordinary”, said Ted Deits, the project developer. “People love the idea of owning their storage, and turning their same rental dollars into an asset class investment”, Deits said. More--->
It's a tale that is widely known in the storage industry. many cities and towns turn away storage development based on principal. Some cities have a prejudged notion of the aesthetics, with others may not like certain issues like the lack of sales tax rveneue. Download .pdf--->
The storage condo market is more of a luxury market, says Ted Deits, owner and developer of Eucalyptus at Beaumont, Southern California’s first-of-its-kind RV storage condominium. “People will spend more money to own the space for their boats and RVs,” he says. More--->
The size of boat- and RV-storage condominiums varies. The most common is a 14-by-40 unit. In lieu of a standard commercial door, most facilities choose a sectional model that is 12-feet wide and 14-feet high. This gives the condos the look of a residential garage door, with an electric operator as an option. More--->
ncluding apartments, detached homes, offices, hotels, airport garages and even grain-storage buildings. Vehicle storage is no exception. The storage condo is an emerging niche within the rapidly growing market for RVs and boats. Condo development might be a good business venture to pursue. More--->
In a burgeoning market of vehicle-storage facilities, Eucalyptus at Beaumont, Calif., answers the need with condominiums and resort-inspired amenities. The $10-million property offers 108 condo units priced between $55,000 and $182,000, and provides the extras many owners of luxury vehicles expect. More--->
Not enough room at home to house all your cars, beer, flat screens and buddies? Buy a garage condo and the wife will never nag you to store her minivan in there again. More--->
As a small niche within the self-storage sector, the developers of storage condos continue to find success building units for sale instead of for rent. Also known as garage condos, these spaces sell individually for a minimum of $70,000 and can accommodate vehicles, motor homes, motorcycles, boats, jet skis, small business inventories, household goods, hobby collections, Christmas decorations and more. Some facilities also have a clubhouse for event rentals and as a gathering spot. Some unit owners buy multiple units, use one and rent out the others. More--->
It’s the ultimate man cave: two leather couches in front of a 100-inch flat screen, a stocked beer fridge, a popcorn machine and two high-top tables surrounded by bar stools. On the walls — one loft-style brick and the others rustic wood — hang Broncos jerseys signed by John Elway and Peyton Manning, plus a collection of neon lights sporting beer logos. A Broncos-orange coffee maker with Super Bowl mugs sits on the wet bar. This sweet set-up isn’t a den or a basement. It’s a storage unit. “Man caves” inside homes have been around for years, male retreats growing ever more elaborate with multiple televisions, gym equipment and even bowling lanes and golf simulators. But the latest fad in man caves is owning one away from home, in nondescript storage unit complexes throughout metro Denver and beyond. From the outside, they look like over-sized storage space, large enough to fit at least one motor home, but open the garage door and find male-centered sanctuaries filled with sports cars and possibly a loft that rivals a neighborhood pub.More--->
Now that the garage-condo concept has broadened from narrow to nationwide, it’s important for owners of classic, ultrapremium and exotic vehicles to understand that not all garage condos are created equal. If you want to keep your prize vehicle(s) at a place other than your home’s garage, then you have to consider numerous facets beyond location.More--->
Self-storage condominiums allow a customer to buy a specific unit at a facility, pay a fee similar to that of a homeowners association, and sell the unit at any time. Storage condos remain a niche market, but awareness of and attraction to the product is growing. Inside Self-Storage recently spoke with Ted Deits, developer and owner of Eucalyptus at Beaumont in California, about the advantages of boat/RV-storage condos, how the industry was affected by the recession, and whats in store for the future. More--->
Michael Hunt was tired of keeping his fishing boat and Mercedes convertible under tarps next to his house, in Post Falls, Idaho. His prized recreational vehicle was falling apart after spending a few winters outside. With no room in his garage, he wasn’t sure what to do. Instead of selling his house, moving to a warmer state or getting rid of his toys, he bought a storage condominium a few miles away in Coeur d’Alene, where he could keep everything under one roof. Then he bought another one for his home office and business files. Three years and $119,000 later, his storage units have become a second home, a place where he plays games with his children, works and shelters his vehicles.More--->
In any business, self storage as well as any other, there is always a need or desire to be on the cutting edge of the industry. People are always going to want the latest and greatest thing, whatever it is, so success in business is often predicated upon bring the first to have the new toy in town. In some cases what this refers to is finding a unique and different way to put a spin on whatever your business has to offer. For the self storage industry, finding a new and innovative way to package the concept of providing people with space for their storing pleasure may seem pretty hard. However, there are some self storage facilities that are carving out a very specific niche for themselves—self storage condominiums.More--->