Luxury storage condos have sprouted all over Southwest Florida as people seek out air-conditioned spaces to park their sports cars, antique roadsters, recreational vehicles and boats.
This trend is likely to continue as sales of luxury vehicles have boomed lately because people seek ways to entertain themselves while socially distancing. Fact is, most owners don’t want to park their expensive luxury vehicles under a tree or in a hot dusty garage.
However, choices are limited: Most auto storage facilities in Southwest Florida are located inside industrial parks far from where people live and many of them are already full. Industrial parks are generally tucked away near the interstate and less desirable neighborhoods.
Now there’s a new trend of sophisticated auto-storage condos closer to upscale neighborhoods, says Biagio Bernardo, senior vice president with Lee & Associates in Naples. These buildings are located on fashionable corridors near well-established residential areas with architecture that blends easily with nearby shops and restaurants.
A prime example of this new trend is Bonita Breeze Luxury Auto Condos, now under construction on Bonita Beach Road just west of U.S. 41 in Bonita Springs (www.bonitabreeze.com). “The demand for that type of product and quality type of building is there,” says Biagio. “What differentiates this one is the quality construction.”
Bonita Breeze, located at 4276 Bonita Beach Road, consists of 25 luxury storage units each measuring 860 to 890 square feet in four buildings designed to withstand hurricanes that blend easily into the area with glass, shutters and other upscale architectural details. Each unit has air conditioning, insulated walls, internet and cable TV access, and a high-tech security system that connects to a smartphone. Owners can customize their units with a bathroom and a mezzanine floor.
Bonita Breeze condos may be particularly appealing to owners of antique and exotic sports cars, creating a culture of common interests among the condo owners. Indeed, a Ferrari dealership is now under construction in nearby North Naples. “It is very rare for Ferrari to open a new dealership anywhere so that speaks volumes about the area,” says Edward Dublois, a longtime Naples commercial real estate investor and developer who is lead development partner for the project.
Bonita Breeze units are sold as condos for the introductory price of $289,000. One popular strategy is to buy them as part of a tax-deferment strategy called a 1031 exchange and lease them out. “Condo rules don’t prohibit the leasing of these units, but there are rules to maintain the integrity,” says Dublois.
A condo association will govern the complex to make sure it adheres to luxury standards. “For instance, you can’t run a business or live in there,” says Dublois.
The Bonita Breeze land acquisition was costly and time-consuming because Dublois and his team spent nearly two years to design it so it conforms with the strict development guidelines established by the City of Bonita Springs. A carwash stood on the 1.7-acre site previously and it was torn down to make way for Bonita Breeze. “To get the most premium location, we had to buy a premiere site with an operating business,” Dublois notes.
Despite the challenges, Dublois is scouting sites for a future project. “We would love to do another one,” says Dublois. “As soon as this one is completed this fall and the momentum builds, we will be on the search to replicate this.”
For more information about Bonita Breeze Luxury Auto Condos, please contact Biagio Bernardo at 239-230-2184 or email [email protected]
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