For a guy who has outgrown his man cave or wants a fancy place to store his million-dollar supercar, help is on the way.
Site work is proceeding in Chesterfield on a luxury condos-for-cars development. Planned for a spring opening is The Place, a $7 million project of 35 tricked-out garages for exotic cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles or any other vehicle their owners want to store in comfort or show off to friends.
Scratching the itch isn’t cheap. Prices for available garages top $180,000 for a 1,400-square-foot garage to a if-you-have-to-ask sum for one of two available garages of nearly 4,200 square feet. (OK, the asking price of each jumbo garage is $539,220 before a price hike at the start of the year.)
For such prices, an owner will get a room with a concrete floor, fire sprinklers, Wi-Fi and utility hookups, including 100-amp electrical service. All garages will have high ceilings to accommodate mezzanines owners may install if they want to see the tops of their fancy rides. Outfitting the garages with man cave items and equipment to work on vehicles will be the responsibility of owners.
The Place is a project of Randy Wild and Steve Stodnick, owners of Paragon Certified Restoration, a fire and water restoration company situated on Spirit Valley Drive next to Spirit of St. Louis Airport. The garage project will be built on a nearby lot on Spirit Valley.
Wild said the site was ideal for The Place’s target demographic.
“These are the people around here who can afford it,” he said.
Man caves with pool tables, leather couches, bars, giant flat-screen TVs, sports memorabilia and other guy stuff have been around for years. Extending the ethos from a guy’s house to a condo garage development is a recent trend.
Several such projects are in Florida. A few are in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Washington and elsewhere. Luxury garages are gaining popularity in cold-weather places where a wealthy guy can tinker with his Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin or classic Corvette in spacious, heated man-cave comfort instead of in his cramped, unheated garage at home.
GarageMahals, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., claims to be the leader in custom luxury garages. Among its customers is the owner of a 6,400-square-foot garage that includes a replica of part of Busch Stadium.
The company says on its website that the feature is “a tribute to the clients’ deep roots with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, and was inspired by piece of art owned by the client.”
The company didn’t respond to a request for comment on where this garage is situated.
The Place is the first man cave garage project in the St. Louis area, Wild said, noting that units will have 12-by-14-foot garage doors to accommodate the largest RVs.
“Anything that can go down the highway legally can be put in our building,” he said.
Peter Newton, the Hilliker Corp. agent who is marketing The Place, said “women have toys, too,” but acknowledged that luxury garages are “mostly a boy thing.”
For guys whose houses overflow with exotic vehicles, a man cave garage makes sense based on the cost or lack of space to add on or the absence of “the domestic authority to store all their stuff at home,” Newton said.
Appeals of a condo garage include the sense of control that comes with ownership and comfort knowing that management fees take care of maintenance, he said. Among The Place’s few rules is one that forbids owners from living there and another that prohibits garage operation as a museum open to the public.
“That’s not say you couldn’t have a poker game in your garage,” he said. “We don’t want to pour rules on people.”
Wild said he believed The Place would soon meet its goal of selling two thirds of the 35 units under development. Once that happens, the owners will start developing construction of a $9 million second phase of 72 garages.
So far, some buyers are investors who want a safe place to stash their cars and wait for them to grow in value, Wild said. Others are typical man cavers who want time away from home to be with their cars and buddies.
The Place’s concrete walls will provide privacy and solid security, Wild said.
“Our building will be very safe and secure,” he said. “If you have a metal building, somebody can cut through with a saw.”
Most buyers are St. Louis-area residents, although a potential buyer of one of the jumbo garages is an Oklahoma resident who wants a place to store his car collection. Wild said The Place was tempting because the collector could fly his private plane to Spirit of St. Louis Airport to easily visit his two dozen vehicles.
If the Oklahoman doesn’t bite, Wild might claim the big garage for himself. He said he owned five cars and a three-garage house.
“If nobody buys one, one of them will be mine,” he said.