“Find a need and fill it,” said entrepreneur Henry Kaiser years ago. In a country packed with people and no space for cars, a Chinese entrepreneur filled a need around the concept of car storage or car condominium warehouses.
Car condominiums are almost common in China today and now, this new real estate trend is popping up all over the US.
Matt Farah, a media entrepreneur, is constructing a 130,800 square foot garage close to the beach in West Los Angeles to hold 140 cars. Pre-completion, Farah already has a waiting list of 85 people lined up and ready to pay $850 – $1,500/month per parking space.
“There’s been a shift in the last couple of years,” said Timothy Sheehan, senior director with BNY Mellon Wealth Management in Atlanta. “Rich people are going after cars.”
Collectors are going for Porsches (Jerry Seinfeld has dozens), Lamborghinis, Mercedes SLs and Ferraris, of course, but they’re also going for 1960’s muscle cars like Chevy Chevelles, Plymouth Barricudas and limited editions. Beat-up Volkswagen busses that people found on the side of the road and restored are now going for six figures.
In the beginning, Farah just looked for a space for his own cars, but after realizing he’d have to retrofit a space to withstand a 12-point earthquake (this is California, remember) and other auto-specific specs, Farah decided to go all the way. If/when his car condo real estate business is successful, Farah plans to expand this car storage concept to other markets.
“My business model depends on putting these things in places where there is a lot of money and no parking.” Places just like China, New York, Rome and West Los Angeles.
“There’s a demand for this,” said collector Henry Robertelli, a partner in the hedge fund Axius Holdings, just like there has been a demand for wine cellars to hold great vintages and for private museums to hold priceless art pieces.
Find a need and fill it, be that need for affordable single-family housing or car condominiums.