Condos for cars
What a pity — a passel of Porsches but no place to park. Or Ferraris overflowing the foyer. Or Vipers that have taken over the vestibule. When a car collection has outgrown the castle’s keep, Garages of Texas gets the call.
With locations popping up all around Dallas and new plans to expand to Austin, the fast-growing company sells space to owners who can then add over-the-top amenities like full bars, game rooms, and bathrooms. Part garage, part playground — like condos, for cars.
Founded in 2014 by friends Jack Griffin and Fred Gans, Garages of Texas brings together their combined, decades-long commercial real estate expertise to what they call “the next step in the evolution of car collecting.” The company has quickly grown to include six locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, with expansion to Austin, Houston, and San Antonio set to begin within the next 12 to 18 months.
“The two main needs we serve: secure space and a sense of community,” says Griffin, a spry 73-year-old self-admitted gearhead and sometime racer (LeMans, Daytona, Sebring, among others) who's worked with, among others, Trammel Crow. Griffin keeps his office at the Garages of Texas Plano location alongside his Porsche collection, which includes a rare 356 “Continental” and his very first Porsche, a 914-6.
“Most residential homes don’t have space for more than three cars,” he adds. “Collectors want space and a community where they can exchange ideas and knowledge. With Garages of Texas, we give the family back their garage and offer a place where car people can connect and swap stories.”
It works like this: Garages of Texas builds a secured site with insulated storage spaces for vehicles. Each space features 14 to 18-foot doors and 21 to 22-foot ceilings and come with HVAC, utilities, fire sprinklers, interior LED lighting, and a wood mezzanine.
Customers then buy their garage, each of which can hold multiple vehicles. Prices are based on size, amenities, configuration and other factors. The number of available spaces varies at each location but averages around 100. Common-area maintenance and insurance are handled by a facility-specific HOA.
Owners personalize their man-caves and she-sheds with art, trophies, refrigerators, vintage Coke machines, jukeboxes — the sky’s the limit. One buyer installed a $30,000 audio-visual system and designer furniture to share his heavy metal — both music and vehicular — at on-site parties with fellow garage neighbors.
And there are a lot of neighbors. Locations in Dallas and Plano now are completely sold out. Construction on an Allen facility is nearly complete and is half sold out. Frisco and Roanoke locations are under way, and already, 40 percent of Frisco is sold, and 25 percent of Roanoke spaces are spoken for. A Carrollton location is in the works and will include auto-related retail operations.
A sense of community attracted Dallas Porschephile Glenn Burgess, who is anxious to move his collection into the two spaces he bought in Allen.
“I like the freedom as well as the idea of being around other car people with the same interests as me,” he says. “It’s great having 80 people in one place with opinions and stories I’d otherwise never have access to. Icing on the cake.”