Business

Condo-sized storage units prepare to move in

Left: Heavy equipment can be seen on the future site of GarageTown Federal Way, 2010 S. 344th St. Ground-breaking for the project began May 5. Above: A rendition (courtesy of GarageTown) of the finished site. - Jacinda Howard/ The Mirror
Left: Heavy equipment can be seen on the future site of GarageTown Federal Way, 2010 S. 344th St. Ground-breaking for the project began May 5. Above: A rendition (courtesy of GarageTown) of the finished site.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard/ The Mirror

There’s nothing mini about the GarageTown Federal Way storage units currently in construction.

Ground-breaking for the condominium-sized units occurred May 5. The facility will offer the convenience of a storage unit and the comfort of a home garage.

Beginning in 2004, GarageTown USA began building and selling large-scale storage garages. The company now operates nine facilities, with the tenth under way at 2010 S. 344th St. in Federal Way, owner and developer Brad Thorson said. When GarageTown Federal Way is completed in December, it will feature four buildings with 67 private condominium storage units. To date, eight of those are pre-sold, Thorson said.

Like traditional storage facilities, GarageTown projects are protected by a perimeter fence, gated access and security cameras. Unlike traditional storage facilities, GarageTown sells spaces the size of small apartments or condominiums and the freedom to use the spaces creatively. The largest unit is 1,480 square feet and the smallest is 800 square feet, Thorson said. Each garage features a wide entrance, industrial-sized door and roomy access aisles to allow for vehicle navigation.

The garages are attractive to those looking to store motor vehicles and people wanting to invest in real estate, Thorson said. Stored belongings can be accessed any time of the day or night, he said. Each garage is equipped with cable television, electricity and telephone hook-ups. The exclusive use of a clubhouse, featuring a meeting room, television, showers and fireplace, is available. Owners can even use the garages to work on their vehicles or toys on site, Thorson said.

But as tempting as it may be, they cannot live in their storage unit, he said. Owners are governed by an ownership association and covenant that allows for storage and community outreach practices only, he said.

The garages can be bought outright or financed, similar to purchasing a home, Thorson said. They sell for between $100,000 and $220,000, he said. Also like homeownership, GarageTown Federal Way customers can customize or sell their storage unit when they wish.

“It’s just like buying a house; there are many ways you can do it,” Thorson said.

Federal Way is prime for such storage areas because of its central location between Tacoma and Seattle and close proximity to Highway 18, Thorson said. The city is also rapidly expanding and encouraging commercial development.

“We wanted to take advantage of the fact that Federal Way is really growing,” Thorson said.

The city rezoned the area where GarageTown Federal Way is under construction to allow for more commercial businesses in summer 2007, community development planning manager Isaac Conlen said.

The change from business park to commercial enterprise district zoning was done to encourage more development, Conlen said.

“It’s an interesting use and we’re glad to have them coming to town,” Conlen said of GarageTown Federal Way.

Contact Jacinda Howard:

jhoward@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

Check it out:

To learn more about GarageTown Federal Way, visit the company’s Web site at www.garagetownusa.com or call (206) 947-9416.

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