Garage Storage in Short Supply

In Orange County, the nation’s largest RV storage facility recently announced that it’s closing — leaving 2,200 RV owners without a place to store their vehicles. The reason is simple: soaring land values. Land in Orange County is now going for $2 million an acre and higher. Owners can’t afford to waste that on storage.

Closer to home, we’re facing similar issues. Vacancies for general industrial space — which could be converted to storage — are at historic lows, and virtually no new projects are in the pipeline. Land costs have risen sharply as the economy picks up steam. Few water allocations are available. And where land with the necessary entitlements exists, developers are building more profitable office, R&D, hospitality, retail, or residential projects.

At the same time, demand for garage-type storage space is increasing rapidly. Car collectors are investing in showcase-quality vehicles, knowing that their value can compete with other types of assets. Discretionary dollars are also being spent on luxury motorcoaches, boats and high-performance track cars as executives recognize that track days are becoming the new “golf” — as activities where business connections can be made and deals can be brokered.

Storage alternatives are disappearing

What about other storage alternatives such as Club Auto Sport — the unique car community in North San Jose? That’s actually a great choice for storing valuable car collections, RVs and boats. Unfortunately, space there is also becoming scarce.

Over the past year, a dozen tenants have seen their suites purchased by new owners as the tenants’ leases have matured — forcing them to find other spaces. The vast majority of recent buyers have sought units to accommodate their private car collections or to escape dramatic rent hikes and lock in occupancy costs while long-term, fixed interest rates are at historic lows.

Private garage space is dwindling

One other trend contributing to today’s storage challenges is that private garage space is becoming harder to find in urban areas. As high-density housing is used to meet the residential demands, many condos, townhomes and apartments are being built without garages. This creates the challenge of where to store cars, boats and personal items.

Introducing Garage Unlimited of Monterey

Garage Unlimited of Monterey is being developed to offer car collectors, track-driving enthusiasts, and others the high-quality, private garage space they’ve been looking for. These are garage condos buyers will own, not rent, so they can keep costs low by taking full advantage of interest rates that may not be in this territory again for years.

The garage condos range in size from 746 to 2,701 sq. ft. with ceiling heights of up to 26 feet and roll-up doors with clear heights of around 14 feet. That makes the units ideal for storing a moderate-sized car collection (especially when stacking units are used), an RV or large boat — as well as household, commercial or business items.


A unique feature is that every garage has a mezzanine area and is pre-wired for Internet or phone service. Many owners plan to customize these mezzanines into personal retreats — adding large-screen TVs, a built-in bar and other treatments. The complex also features access-controlled entrance gates and video security, as well as convenient amenities such as on-site air and water and an RV dump station.

For additional information about Garage Unlimited of Monterey, please contact Ernie Lostrom of Lostrom & Company, at (831) 646-1000, or email