By James Raia
Keeping your motorhome clean, protected from the elements and secure may be standard practice for many owners. But would you pay $269,000 to do so?
Increasingly popular around the country, specialty purpose storage units have gone upscale with developers and management companies outdoing each other to attract customers.
In Southwest Florida, a haven for RVers and exotic car owners, new luxury facilities, sometimes called car condos, mantuaries or she sheds, house expensive cars, art collections, rare wines and Class A RVs.
Climate-controlled and customizable with large-screen televisions, fully-equipped bathrooms, private bars and fancy flooring, the storage units are micro-apartments.
And also consider: Common in the luxury units are security cameras, eight-foot perimeter fence, 50-amp dedicated RV electrical outlets in each unit, multiple electric outlets and overhead lights, dump stations, motorized and insulated 12- or 14-foot wide and 14-foot high garage doors, and restrooms with showers and a laundry facility.
Not every luxury storage unit is located in the recently built complexes. Temperature controlled units for vehicle and other hobbyists’ collections are available as exceptions to the norm of traditional storage units.
The differences, however, are aplenty. High-cost environment-controlled units in regional and national storage chain companies begin with rent of a few hundred dollars a month. Some luxury-specific storage facilities units for sale don’t have disclosed prices, but the entry-level price, according to the My Other Place website, is $269,000. Monthly fees are extra.
Naples Realtor Phil Pugh was at the forefront of the upscale storage condominium phenomenon, and he’s currently a national consultant for several pending facilities in Southwest Florida, and for Vehicle Fortress, My Other Place and Naples Motor Condos in its two locations. He prefers the name luxury storage units, instead of the concept’s more colloquial terminology.
Vehicle Fortress accepts owners with varied collections, but it caters to recreational vehicles, with about 75 percent of the buyers RV owners. The reason, in part: The layout and units include 65-foot aisles for easier maneuvering.
“It takes patience and proper care to enjoy the finer things in life,” the front page of the Naples Motor Condos website states. “Storing your vehicles shouldn’t be any different.”
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.