Development Guide for Storage- Garage-Business- Condos

Development Guide for “Storage Condo Projects”

This guide provides an outline of the “thought process” used when developing a storage condo project. Of course, it also applies to garage condos, business condos, and all the other creative names of storage condo projects. This guide served as the foundation of the StorageShopUSA™ development model. As the industry emerges we expect significant contributions from other developers as they share their experiences and knowledge.

The development guide is an overview of the storage condo development process. The guide is best supplemented with the

storage condo development manual which helps you understand more of the details.

The step by step procedure will provide specific guidance and insights for a development.

Once the development process has started, the site evaluation checklist keeps you on track with what is important as you plan the development.

Lastly, the final development proforma is the blueprint to start constuction.

I. Site selection

Where to begin

  • What factors into site selection
  • Low risk strategy

What is the best location

  • Visibility access and price
  • Think like a buyer
  • Small demographics study
  • Cost/unit analysis
  • Optimum number of units vs. visual impact vs. economy of scale
  • Who are you trying to attract?

What about price

  • How big and how much
  • Net vs Gross
  • Land that is too cheap
  • Lot line flexibility


  • Conditional uses and rezones
  • Conceptual approval before purchase
  • Parking requirements

Site Improvements

  • Stormwater
  • Road frontage
  • Screening
  • Utilities
  • Grading and site topography
  • Fire lanes and access
  • Impact fees and/or water meter charges


  • Lot dimensions
  • What is optimum
  • Lot line flexibility


  • Architectural reviews
  • Deed restrictions and covenants

Special features/uniqueness

Site selection summary

II. Building Design and layout

Design considerations

  • What to provide for a base unit
  • What to provide as options
  • Is it storage or warehouse
  • Commercial building codes
  • Restricted uses
  • Cost vs. design
  • Lot coverage

Why separate traditional wood frame structures?

Building structure and foundation

Exterior building design

  • Lighting
  • Streetscape and landscaping
  • Roof pitch

Interior design

  • Interior finishes
  • lighting

Office/bath build-out Electric


  • Utilities – private/public
  • Floor drains/catch basins

Heating and air conditioning

Miscellaneous design considerations

  • High speed internet
  • Signage
  • Access doors
  • ADA requirements
  • Mailboxes
  • Overhead doors and operators
  • Planning ahead for alterations/options
  • Garbage removal and management

Fire ratings, existing, egress lighting

Parking requirements

Design summary

III. Site design and layout

Building layout

Gross vs. net buildings/acre

Fire separation between units

Fire lanes

Storm water management

Site topography

Site grading

Sewer and water extentions



ADA accessibility

Phasing and condo expansion

IV. Construction

Educate the subcontractors

Construction bids

Price for each phase

Don’t change the plans


V. Buyer personas – who is buying and why

VI. Financing

Good idea, but…..

Have a business plan

Can the buyers get financing?

VII. Marketing

Understanding the buyer

What if you are wrong

What about the rental market

Be careful to who you listen to

Buyers like the price but like duplex idea

All things equal…buyers….

Would you rather own a condo or a house?

VIII. Development costs and profits

Cost breakdown

How to determine the price of the units

Building cost



Project management

Soft costs

Cost overruns


IX. Condominium documents

A development guide is nice but, there is more to developing storage condominiums than what meets the eye. Good insight is hard to come by. It takes experience and success to provide information that is ultimately useful. Everyone has opinions.

The best thing to do is subscribe to the "Storage Condo Insider". This will provide continued insights that can help guide you through a development. We are not the only ones that will be providing input and insight - other experienced and successful developers will be asked for their input as well. If you are serious about learning more and maybe venturing into a storage condo development - then stay connected!

Get more detailed information then the development guide.

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