When you collect vintage vehicles, secure storage can be a problem if you don’t own an acreage with a big shop or a secure warehouse building in the city. You can only beg so much space in a neighbour’s garage.
So what to do when your acquisition of valuable vehicles outstrips your ability to store them safe and secure. It can be a headache. A first-world headache to be sure, but a headache none-the-less.
Larry and Leslie Stadnick have a solution, a rather elegant one. It’s called The Stash–a luxury condo complex for costly cars and other toys that’s located just outside Calgary.
Larry’s dream project has been selling units for about a year now and despite the economic climate and luxury pricing, the units are selling briskly.
“I’m living the dream,” he says. “We’ve created this thing that people love.”
That “thing” is a $10-million, 38-bay complex built to exacting standards of high-quality materials, safety, security and environmental responsibility.
The dream began about six years ago when the couple were in Phoenix and attended a function at a “car condo.”
“We started dreaming about building a similar project here,” says Larry, himself a vehicle collector and restorer. “We never had a large enough place to stash all our stuff. That’s where the name came from.”
The couple own an acreage estate home building company, but were looking for something else to do and The Stash idea fit right in.
“We were looking for a change,” says Leslie. “It was time.”
They gave me a tour of the facility recently and I have to say it’s impressive. ICF (insulated concrete form) construction provides excellent insulation from cold – and sound while heated floors provide warmth without distributing dust, an important feature when vehicles are involved.
“We’re working with materials we’ve never worked with in all the years in the housing business,” says Larry, adding that the project exceeds the standards for commercial buildings by a large margin.
The standard garage units are 1,250 sq. ft. (25 x 50 ft.) with ceilings high enough to accommodate a sizeable mezzanine and everybody seems to opt to construct a mezzanine.
A tour of finished units shows what can be done with the space when the only limit is the imagination of the owner.
There may be a cars, trucks and motorcycles, automotive memorabilia of all kinds, perhaps a boat and even a small helicopter in the units here, but these are no garages.
Each is an ultimate entertainment cave for car lovers in a complex that lets owners hang out with their vehicles and associate with like-minded individuals.
“It has become a real community,” enthuses Larry. “The people are just a lot of fun and the sense of community is terrific. Nobody hesitates to help out a neighbour.”
“This place is terrific,” says one member. “Now I don’t have to bug my neighbours for storage space in their garages. Everything is here under one roof and it’s secure.”
Membership in this community doesn’t come cheap. The units are priced at $299,000 with condo fees of $150 a month. For that you get high efficiency construction with R28 walls, R40 roof, R5 under the concrete slab, drywall ceiling and walls, individual water, power and gas lines, in-floor heat and gas boiler, 100 amp and 220 volt power, rough-in plumbing for a three-piece bathroom, one ceiling fan, two overhead LED light fixtures, a 16 ft. by 14 ft. overhead door and 3-ft. man door. After that, it’s up to the owner and the sky’s the limit. The only thing a unit can’t have is a stove (zoning regulations and insurance stipulations prevent that), although a microwave is permissible.
In addition, the fully-paved complex has a monitored gated entry that keeps track of who is coming and going. Monitored security cameras cover every angle and there’s a perimeter security fence along with a septic system for each wing, a maintenance facility, water system and landscaping.
There’s a second level members lounge (served by an elevator) that includes washrooms, pool table, big screen TV, refrigerator, bar area and sufficient seating for holding meetings or just hanging out.
Phase one of The Stash is sold out, phase two construction is complete and units are going quickly.
“We’ve never pre-sold,” says Larry, “and these units haven’t even tapped the market in Calgary.”