By Laura Latzko
Toy Barn Luxury Garage Ownership doesn’t just offer storage for cars, boats, RVs, racecars, motorcycles and off-road vehicles.
It’s a community for vehicle enthusiasts.
Units come with amenities such as prewired internet and TV access, plumbing, insulated walls and ceilings, RV outlets, electric garage doors, community restrooms, and access to clubhouses.
The father-and-son team behind Toy Barn, Paul and Jason Wesley, has expanded its business since opening its first location in 2010 at Cave Creek and Peak View roads.
Originally from Ohio, the two were residential land subdividers before they became involved in the luxury garage business in 2008.
Jason says there were luxury garages in the East Valley when they started their business, but nothing in North Scottsdale.
“We were really trying to accommodate people who lived in the North Scottsdale communities who didn’t have any additional storage options. It’s real estate ownership, so it’s an investment versus just paying rent on a storage facility,” Jason says.
“A lot of them that have been around 10 years. They have double-lot equity. They get the tax benefits that come with real estate ownership.”
Because businesses like this were few, they had to figure it out on their own.
“It’s extremely niche,” Jason says. “There was no roadmap for getting into the garage/condominium business when we did.”
Their time in the luxury garage business has been a learning process. They have continued to adapt, especially with delays in new constructions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have learned quite a bit about the construction process, the challenges associated with it, how to manage those challenges, managing schedules and people’s expectations, what works and doesn’t work,” Jason says. “We try to incorporate the lessons learned from every community into the new one.”
The two men have their own “toys” that they enjoy in their spare time. Paul owns a collection of vintage Indian motorcycles, and Jason is an aviation enthusiast with a Cirrus plane.
Jason says he’s also interested in Porsches, and his father enjoys ’60s-era Corvettes.
One of the biggest perks of owning a luxury garage business is occasionally clients allow the team to try out vehicles.
“It’s always nice when they say, ‘Just take the Porsche for the day,’” Jason says.
Jason and Paul have five locations, including their new one near the Chandler Municipal Airport at Gilbert and Germann roads.
The two are planning a location in Scottsdale at 73rd Street and Helm Drive, which is projected to open in 2023. They are taking reservations for it. This will be their second Scottsdale location, the first being Greenway Road and 78th Street that opened in 2019.
The first location has been sold out since the spring of 2020, and they wanted to offer additional options for those needing storage in Scottsdale. The first location in Scottsdale is 24,000 feet, with 18 units. The new location will be 75,600 square feet with 52 units.
“We think that the Scottsdale Airpark location is one of the premier locations in the Valley for what we do,” Jason says.
Owners will be able to purchase one or multiple units of 1,200 to 6,000 square feet of space.
“The other one was just too small,” Jason says. “We didn’t have anything to accommodate people who needed a larger space. This time around, we will be able to accommodate significant-sized garages.
“The first one was designed for cars only. This new one will accommodate larger motorcoaches, larger boats, larger car collections.”
Jason expects that the new location will serve residents of Old Town, North Scottsdale, the Gainey and McCormick Ranch areas, and Paradise Valley. Jason and Paul are hoping to expand to Utah, Texas and Nevada.
Jason says there has been little turnover in units, and some owners have spaces in different facilities. Jason says the dry, warm climate and roads in Arizona are ideal for car collectors.
“They can enjoy their vehicles here. The roads aren’t like the roads in the Midwest, chucked with potholes everywhere,” Jason says.
Jason says building a garage can be expensive, and many communities have CC&R regulations prohibiting additions.
The Toy Barns offer a luxury garage experience for those who are downsizing or needing space for their vehicles, family heirlooms or automobilia such as neon signs or vintage gas pumps. They are gated, with 24-hour access.
Adjacent clubhouses come with amenities such as high-end finishes, plush seating, flat-screen TVs, full kitchens and bathrooms.
Jason says he and his father wanted to create not just storage facilities but close-knit communities.
“I think what separates us from a regular storage facility or an industrial park is the fact that we are trying to cultivate a community of like-minded individuals. The facility functions more like a private club than it does a warehouse,” Jason says.
Unit owners can customize the units with touches such as Epoxy flooring and half baths. They are expected to adhere to CC&R guidelines, such as not operating businesses out of their units. Many of the unit owners spend time at the facilities, working on their own vehicles or getting time to themselves.
“Some of the retired guys who don’t golf, that’s where they spend all their time. That’s what they do. They tinker in the garage,” Jason says. ν