Modular Mini Storage recently worked with a customer who wanted to build an RV-storage facility in a light-industrial zone. However, city planners had one stipulation—he needed to include some office space for small businesses. Two flex-space buildings were constructed, and every unit was leased to a commercial customer. Later, two more buildings were erected with the same result.
What is Flex Space?
Flex space is basically storage with some office space. Also known as incubator space, it’s a combination of warehouse, shop or light-manufacturing space with room for phones and a few desks. It provides entrepreneurs a place to start up and small firms a place to do business. As with self-storage, multiple tenants decrease the impact of vacancies.
In the case cited above, each building had four 700-square-foot office units with adjoining 1,400-square-foot warehouse bays. In addition, 14 -by-50-foot units without offices were included to broaden the project’s appeal to a wider group of potential tenants. Office units consisted of a reception area, two private offices and a restroom.
Units were leased for three to five years, so there was no need for a full-time manager, a Yellow Pages ad or a website. A simple newspaper ad attracted new tenants.
Drive aisles needed to be wide enough for a 4-foot walkway and 18-foot straight-in parking spaces in front of offices, plus a 30-foot drive. It was a minimum of 52 feet for offices on one side of the drive aisle, or 74 feet with offices on both sides.
Offices and shops generally require more parking than warehouse space. Most of this can be accomplished in front of the tenant’s unit. Every municipality seems to have different standards, so self-storage owners might have to include more parking here or there.