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The Benefits of Developing Condominium Self-Storage

Elaine Foxwell Comments
Continued from page 2

Premier offers several unit sizes from 14-by-30 to 22-by-40 at a cost of $125 per square foot. Every unit includes fire sprinklers, electrical outlets, fluorescent lighting and individual door alarms. The large sectional doors are sealed on all four sides. Driveways are 56 feet wide to allow easy parking of these large vehicles.

The property has 24-hour access with alarm monitoring and 24-hour video protection. Security is supplied by PTI Integrated Systems. All buildings are plumbed for water so customers can wash vehicles in front of their units before storing them. The facility features an RV-waste dump and separate bathrooms with showers for men and women.

Construction of the 213,425-square-foot facility began in early January by the Ayres Group General Contractor. As of this writing, the facility was 90 percent sold. The Ayers Group is already planning a 530-unit complex in west Phoenix.

Jim Stratton, Real Estate and Development Consultant

Two market conditions support the development and sale of storage condos—an overall shortage of vehicle-storage space and high rents for quality vehicle storage, says Jim Stratton, a real estate and development consultant based in New Orleans. The demand for recreational-vehicle storage is still growing based on increased sales of vehicles and growing parking restrictions, he says. As of 2007, the number of RV and boat owners using commercial storage is approximately 11 percent.

Vehicle storage can be divided into three segments: owners of RVs, boats and other vehicles, small-business owners and investors. The first two are the two primary end-users of storage. Small-business owners are attracted by the design of the vehicle-storage unit, which is very similar to the design of typical office/warehouse space, and the opportunity to own rather than rent.

The developer has the option to restrict buyers to just those intending to store vehicles, but many have found vehicle storage and small business coexist quite well, says Stratton, who has provided market research and feasibility studies for real estate developers including self-storage for more than 20 years.

“The storage-condo market might represent a profitable niche in many locales,” Stratton says. “But careful study of demand, supply and financial feasibility is essential to success.”

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