Many people envision self-storage as a cluster of metal container vans, each one filled with boxes and boxes of stuff – mostly junk. While that still holds true today, a newer and totally different concept of self-storage has emerged in recent years – luxury storage for your stuff.
Beyond the traditional metal containers, the new storage companies offer space as much as 3,000 square feet – larger than a house – with customized interiors that’ll make your own house look like a poor relative. While these self-storage spaces look like a luxury condo, they’re not meant to be lived in by humans. Your car, yes; you, forget it. Here’s a sneak peak at the lifestyles of the cars and stuff of the rich and famous.
It’s bigger than your apartment, it has gated security, an air conditioning system that allows you to keep the temperature constant, and there’s also an en suite bathroom, pool tables, as well as valets. For a premium upgrade you’ll get customized flooring and cabinetry, mezzanine loft space, and a hydraulic lift. This is luxurious living at its best, condo style. There’s just one catch – you can’t live here. But your car can.
If you want to park your classic, vintage, and/or very expensive car somewhere – not in your home because you’ve got no parking space for it, and not on the street because you paid an arm and a leg and don’t want it stolen or the parts fenced – where would you go? Try the Park Place Car Condo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
It’s a veritable Ritz-Carlton – except that it’s for vehicles, not humans. To own a unit at the Park Place Condo prices range from $150,000 for a 620 square foot unit to $400,000 for a 1,800 square foot condo that’s big enough to house an RV.
This luxurious abode doesn’t house just vehicles. You can store anything from your wine collection to personal stuff such as jewelry, antiques, rare coins, art collection, rare collectibles, and equipment that you want to offload from your yacht. The company offers full car detailing services, and a valet service when you and/or your car need to be dropped off somewhere. If you enroll in the Total Car Care Plan, you and the car get chauffeur service as well. Talk about the ultimate in pampering!
If you prefer to own rather than rent a self-storage condominium for your luxury vehicle, boat, or RV, this is probably the crème de la crème of storage companies on the West Coast. Located in Beaumont, California, Eucalyptus at Beaumont has a total of 108 units ranging from $55,000 to $182,000 for a basic unit, depending on the size. Each one is insulated, has its own automatic door opener, an alarm system, and private electricity. There are added amenities that you can avail of, too, for a price – a 2,700 foot clubhouse, 24-hour access, and individual door alarms. Unit sizes range from 418 sq ft to an enormous 1300 sq ft.
In the words of their website in reference to their biggest offering, the company says: “Even your wife couldn't fill up this unit.” One nifty thing about this place is that if you own one of their condos, you can view the exterior over the internet via a security cam. Coming soon – a private garage cam inside your unit, which you can access via the Internet through a password. How cool is that?
As the self-owned self-storage trend spreads around the country to become the new playground/storage of the wealthy, more providers are jumping into the arena, among them GarageTown. Expect to pay anywhere between $42,000 and $116,000 for a garage condo here. Features include heat and air conditioning; a clubhouse to hang out in, complete with big-screen televisions and a kitchen; communal bathrooms and showers; and Wi-Fi. Use it to store your car, boat, RV, business inventory, you and your kids’ toys, your junk, or whatever. You can use it as a playground where you can hang out and play with your kids or friends, as storage for your vehicles, or as your very own personal gym. If your home needs more space and you don’t want to or can’t build an annex, this is the perfect extension.
In any case, your stuff will have a great house and you have equity. The company started in Idaho with 65 units and now has multiple locations in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, and Washington. They recently got approval to franchise in 50 states.
The Dakota, New York, New York
Within the heart of one of the most well-known buildings in New York is a recently purchased private self-storage facility that is considered the most expensive in the history of self-storage in New York real estate. This storage space is located at the basement floor of the Dakota, a French style luxury co-op building at the corner of West 72nd Street and Central Park West in Manhattan.
The building has been called home by famous music and entertainment luminaries such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono (it was also outside this building where Lennon was murdered in 1980), Rudolf Nureyev, Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, and the very rich. Built in the early 1880s, it was considered the ultimate in luxury living at that time. The building, an architectural beauty, features 14-feet high ceilings, elevators (the Dakota was one of the very first to have elevators at that time), central heating, electricity provided by an in-house power plant, a private dining hall, and room service. The icing on the cake is the beautiful view of Central Park across the street.
This $801,000 basement storage has four walls, electricity, a half bath, and a small cellar window for ventilation, but is uninhabitable. It costs much more than a 1-bedroom apartment in New York. The unit was bought by John M. Angelo, a hedge fund manager and member of the board of directors of Sotheby’s. Gossip columns say that storage space is a premium in this building, and when a storage locker is announced as for sale, residents try to outbid each other. This unit had eight other bidders, a representative of Yoko Ono among them.
For men who want to have a private place of their very own where they can display their treasures and hang out with the boys, the Hyde Park Storage Suites offers the perfect venue. Accessible 24 hours a day with no restrictions, these luxury self-storage suites are located in Cornelius, NC and Daytona, FL.
Each unit includes a monitored security system, high speed internet connection, insulated walls and ceilings, a carbon monoxide sensor, individual electrical panels, a 14’ x 14’ overhead door with secure keypad entry, individual HVAC, and pre-wiring for virtual surveillance, TV, and telephone. Sizes range from 720 sq ft up to 3,800 sq ft with units starting at $80,000. You can lease or own.
NASCAR legend Robert Yates is one satisfied owner with a self-storage unit he calls Harley Hotel. His “man cave” houses his toys – an RV, several vintage cars, Harley bikes, and his trophies. The 3,500 square feet property also has a bar.
If you’ve got a diva-size wardrobe but a Thumbelina-size closet, fret not. You won’t have to get rid of your existing clothes in order to make way for your recent shopping spree. Garde Robe, a New York-based service founded in 2001 that has since spread to Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Tokyo, offers a solution to the extensive-wardrobe-but-limited-closet-space problem.
This self-storage service is used by top fashion designers, movie stars, socialites, the rich, and also the not-so-very-rich who love to shop and have way too many clothes. If you’ve got clothes that you hardly wear but can’t bear to part with, you can rent a rack at Garde Robe. They’ll come to your house, pack it, and then whisk it away to their luxury climate-controlled lofts. Each piece of clothing is individually photographed and catalogued and you’re given your very own Cyber Closet, accessible via the internet, where you can browse through your on-line wardrobe to select the outfit for your next party. Garde Robe has a same day pick-up and delivery service so you don’t even have to step out of your bedroom. Clothes need washing or pressing? They provide garment care services. Garde Robe also provides “museum quality” preservation for vintage and couture pieces. The company ships to anywhere in the world so if you’re going on vacation or a business trip and are too lazy to pack a suitcase and lug it around with you, Garde Robe will send your clothes (and your toiletries too!) to your destination.
Rates start at $350 per month (plus tax) for one rack, which holds 50 items of clothing. In addition you get 10 shoe-boxes and one breathable box for accessories. A contract with Garde Robe lasts one year, is renewable, and is customizable depending on your needs.