Renters of Caughlin Ranch mini warehouse and RV sin Reno, NEV., often ask co-owner and onsite manager Bob Ryan if they can have his job. From the cascading waterfall surrounded by verdant landscaping to the posh three-story manager’s home, the entrance to the 7-acre facility looks more like a luxurious hotel than self-storage. The opulence doesn’t end there. There’s also a 120-foot-deep-by-30- foot-wide underground cave for wine storage and ample boat and RV covered parking.
The $5 million facility, which opened Sept. 1 and was 20 percent leased in three weeks, garnered prestige from the self-storage industry, as well. Mini-Storage Messenger magazine named it Facility of the Year for 2003.
Caughlin also has the honor of being the only self-storage facility in its area. “The Caughlin Ranch area is sort of the Beverly Hills of Reno,” Ryan says. The master-planned community has very strict CC&Rs that forbid driveway RV and boat storage. But unlike many facilities forced to fight neighbors and planning boards, this storage center was welcomed with open arms. The master plan, written some 20 years ago, even called for a self-storage center. “We really fill a need for this particular community,” Ryan says.
The Caughlin Ranch Mini Warehouse is the creation of Ryan and business partner Gary Sabatini, a partner at Sierra Management, which also serves as the property-management company for another Reno facility. Two years ago, Sabatini, a longtime friend, approached Ryan and his wife, Lonae, about the business venture. Although the couple had no experience in the self-storage industry, they took a leap of faith, selling their house and Ryan’s business, and moved to Reno.
“We’re both in our sixties, and it’s sort of a retirement-type of job,” Ryan says. “With Gary’s background in investing, we felt fairly competent.” Mike Crom, the general contractor as well as an investor, also joined the team.
Construction began in June 2002 but was met with some delays while obtaining proper permits from the city. The partners broke ground in December 2002 and completed construction in just under a year. The facility encompasses 360 storage units of various sizes, including 10 15-by- 60 units, 77 indoor RV/boat units and 50 canopy-covered units. The manager’s living quarters totals 1,880 square feet with a 1,280- square-foot garage. The 680-square-foot office is detached from the house. The home even has an impressive view of Reno.
The 35-foot waterfall greets customers as they drive up. Next to it is the entrance to the wine storage cave. Landscaping totaled a whopping $100,000. The care and expense in detail can be greatly attributed to the community. Homes range from $200,000 to $3 million. The facility’s façade needed to blend with the surrounding neighborhood.
Being that it is such an affluent community, building a high-end wine storage facility seemed a no-brainer. The first 80 feet of the cave is designated for valuables such as furs, fine art or furniture. The remaining area is for wine. There are 275 wine lockers of various sizes, holding as little as nine cases or as many as 70. Ryan is also taking orders for custom lockers. The wine cave, which opened in October, has been well received. “We’re getting a lot of calls. And I’ve already rented out one of our large units to the International Wine and Food Society of Lake Tahoe. They have about 100 local members, and we’ll get involved in their wine-tastings,” Ryan says.
Security is also a top priority. In addition to having on-site managers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the facility has video surveillance and control gates with limited access. “We feel this is without doubt the premier facility in Reno, and one of the premier facilities in the United States,” Ryan says.
For more information, call 775.826.8777.