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Old 02-17-2018, 09:57 AM
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Shop space rental research project

I've had this idea for a shop space co-op/club (not for profit entity). One or more paid employees like the manager, but overall operating within not-for-profit parameters -- can keep a bit of surplus money, but proceeds have to go back into facility or rates reduced, etc. What would be a reasonable monthly rent for a 360 SF work space (15'x24', about a 1.5 car garage)? This would be fenced off inside a warehouse. $250-350 a month? Space need to be bigger? I'm thinking that is the minimum space for storing and working on a car. Single car garage is 10-12', but that's just enough room to open doors and get in/out. Another 3' would allow tool storage on one side wall. Maybe 13-14' wide and 25-26' long --enough to get around both sides and room in front for tools and such. Prices are what I'm thinking would go here in central South Carolina... probably a lot more in the Los Angles area and other locations. How far would you be willing to drive to such a shop -- 15-20 minutes too far?

The idea is to get a large warehouse and portion it up into "shops" and maybe some just plain storage spots (for less of course). Another angle is to have paid storage parking spaces inside, and a few use-as-needed work bays. Could have a contract for paid storage with unlimited work bay access (would have to schedule though), and one with paid storage and a fee for using work bays... Probably not heated and cooled, but ventilated. For working areas there would have to be an exhaust system to connect to your tail pipe. Ideally there would be an area for a lift or two (depending on size), maybe an extra cost to use those in order to pay for them. The work spaces would preferably be fenced and gated, but I'm thinking solid walls, maybe just gate in front. At least to start painted lines might be acceptable. Secure access and security cameras.

Hard to find such a facility near an urban area where there might be plenty people willing to rent garage/shop space. Would limit it to automotive work/storage, so no one would be bringing in their furniture during a move. Maybe have a clause in the contract for TEMPORARY storage of things like that during a local move... a 10-30 day limit?

I haven't fully investigated everything like zoning and regulations for a big shop like that. Might be able to turn an old shopping center/grocery store into such a facility. Storing flammables would be the big issue, and what kind of fire protection would be needed. A stand-alone store might be doable, one in a strip mall probably not (unless the whole small strip mall was used?). Haven't investigated costs and need for such a facility yet either... if there isn't enough interest in the prospect not much point in doing all that work. So this is step one -- what do car people/rodders in general think of the idea?

Looking forward to your comments!!

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Old 02-17-2018, 10:23 AM
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I was part of one of those deals at one time.. It was strictly a car shop and we had mostly race cars.. there was a fairly complete fabrication shop and machine tools in the shop as well. Came about because the operator did fab and machine work and he had the extra space for parking and storage.. Some of the more active stalls were just painted lines and there were stalls surrounded by chain link fencing. It was open when he was there to monitor and supervise.. Some of the guys drove an hour to get to it. Main thing that the shop was near a good size population so there were a number of potential customers..

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Old 02-17-2018, 12:14 PM
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I belong to the Urban Workshop. Prices range from 175/mo (month-month) down to 125/mo (for a year).

This is for an auto shop (5 lifts), metal shop (with mill/lathe/HAAS CNC)/woodshop (with 4' x 8' CNC router), welding shop (all types)/ 3 laser cutters/etchers, 3D printer, vacuum molding, electronics shop, etc.

They have a lot to offer for the $$$.

The Ultimate DIY Workshop and Makerspace!

http://urbanworkshop.net/equipment/
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Old 02-17-2018, 04:31 PM
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My "Toy Shop" is exactly as you describe. The original very large metal building is divided into several 40x100' sections. Lease is cheap as commercial property values in this area are in the toilet, for years. I lease one section. Use approx one half of the space and rent out surplus garage size spaces for work areas. Basic storage starts at $85.00 per space and increases with the guys that are building projects. These spaces include one inside space and an outside fenced storage space for parts car.
Access to welders/plasma cutters, lathes/mills, sheet metal equipment, and a short lift. Everything except paint and no commercial auto repair. Forbidden by the zoning. Basically the vehicles have to be owned by the sub-letters.
I always have a list of people wanting space. But mostly my only turnover comes from the death of my older "project" guys. Have lost four in the last five years.
Presently have a snowmobile/watercraft guy. A Blazer restorer guy. An Olds racer. An ElCamino guy and another old Hotrodder.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:39 AM
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Guys, all this is encouraging news, especially the pricing that Bob lists. I'm sure the cheaper per square foot the better! I'd eventually like to have things available for general use like a plasma cutter and other more expensive tools that aren't used that often. That will come in time. Operating like a not-for-profit club should leave some money on the table for improvements/equipment every year, or at least that's the plan!
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:06 AM
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Write a business plan and look into the non-profit organization.. quite a bit of work on the business side to make one of these deals work well..

Sam

And plan on an operating budget for the purchase of shop tooling or repair and maintenance of those machines..
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Last edited by OneMoreTime; 02-18-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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