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Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

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  • Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

    Hi All-

    I am currently working on finalizing a site plan for developing a ~5 acre Boat and RV storage facility. Primarily indoor. Unfortunately the design group I have doing the work doesn't appear to have enough experience with this type of facility as the site plan had a number of issues with it.

    I'm looking for someone who has done a number of these, who can help as a consultant, to make sure we really nail the layout to (a) minimize construction cost (b) maximize usability of the facility from the customers perspective (c) maximize available / useable acreage and (d) satisfy the requirements of the city.

    The site plan to date has not had sufficiently large turnarounds, has caused customers to have to drive through the entire facility to exit, didn't properly account for a heavily sloping landscape, and used long narrow buildings that are more expensive to build.

    I'm looking for a consultant that has lots of experience laying out these types of facilities, that understands all aspects of these types of concerns. Can any of you recommend an expert / consultant that I might be able to hire? I want to over-invest in this part of the project as it seems so critical, and I can't find a local expert.

    Thanks for any help!!!

  • #2
    Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

    I would suggest you start by contacting the manufacturer that you wish to supply the buildings, see if they can help you with a site layout. You'll still need a local civil engineer to help with a drainage and grading plan, but working with your building supplier up front will help ensure that yuou are designing a building that takes advantage of all that the builder has learned in their years of business.

    Steve Hajewski
    Trachte Building Systems

    Originally posted by flyinggoat View Post
    Hi All-

    I am currently working on finalizing a site plan for developing a ~5 acre Boat and RV storage facility. Primarily indoor. Unfortunately the design group I have doing the work doesn't appear to have enough experience with this type of facility as the site plan had a number of issues with it.

    I'm looking for someone who has done a number of these, who can help as a consultant, to make sure we really nail the layout to (a) minimize construction cost (b) maximize usability of the facility from the customers perspective (c) maximize available / useable acreage and (d) satisfy the requirements of the city.

    The site plan to date has not had sufficiently large turnarounds, has caused customers to have to drive through the entire facility to exit, didn't properly account for a heavily sloping landscape, and used long narrow buildings that are more expensive to build.

    I'm looking for a consultant that has lots of experience laying out these types of facilities, that understands all aspects of these types of concerns. Can any of you recommend an expert / consultant that I might be able to hire? I want to over-invest in this part of the project as it seems so critical, and I can't find a local expert.

    Thanks for any help!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

      Originally posted by flyinggoat View Post
      Hi All-

      I'm looking for a consultant that has lots of experience laying out these types of facilities, that understands all aspects of these types of concerns. Can any of you recommend an expert / consultant that I might be able to hire? I want to over-invest in this part of the project as it seems so critical, and I can't find a local expert.

      Thanks for any help!!!
      Sometimes your best consultants are the managers or operators that actually run and operate the facilities. They are the people that deal in customer service, hear the good and/or bad about a facility, know the issues that are faced on a daily bases and are usually willing to give you an unbiased opinion.

      With boat and RV parking you have to consider 1/3 of the tenants are excellent at maneuvering their toys, 1/3 think they can maneuver it and 1/3 will spend ½ a day trying to get their favorite toy into the space. Design now so you don’t have to repair next year.

      Owners or developers all want to maximize the facility to gain the maximum income; however, there are tradeoffs that can be much more beneficial in the long run.

      • Take a facility tour vacation and go talk to the people running the facilities. (out of your area)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

        flyinggoat:
        I would urge you to consider valet parking vehicles inside. Payroll increases - Insurance increases BUT you can achieve up to a 30% to 35% increase in density inside. Most boat and RV storage customers have a cycle when they use their vehicles. The person who only comes once or twice a month gets put in the back. The several times a week folks or specific weekend folks get put up front. I think when you do the math that the additional income potential more than offsets the increased operating expenses. Of course this won't work if you are not planning to staff the facility. If folks are pulling themselves in and out of a space, you should assume some crash damage will result during the course of the year. Good video surveillance is a must so that you will be able to assign blame for damages when they occur. I also strongly recommend that you get a top attorney to draft your rental agreement.

        MisterJim444
        Learning Never Ends, But Will Time?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

          ISS recently published the Boat/RV/Mobile edition. You may find some helpful information. It's free to download. Good luck and keep us posted!
          Amy Campbell
          Editor
          Inside Self-Storage
          amy.campbell@informa.com

          @AmyCampbell_ISS
          480.281.6091

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

            Thanks for all of your feedback. I had talked with a few steel building manufacturers months ago, and they had tried to help with site layout / design. Each of them didn't seem to have the attention to detail, or too much got lost in translation when the info got from my contact to the layout person. In one case the design I got back completely ignored topography and laid out covered (not indoor) spots. In another case, they ignored the fact that I was doing boat and RV storage and I got a plan back for mini-storage. Waiting a couple of weeks for these complete misses was a waste of time. I thought by paying a consultant directly perhaps I could get more time and attention.

            Regarding valet, I've considered it, and there is a facility on the other side of town that does this, but I am hoping to head in another direction. I'd like people to have a space that the feel is their own, that they could potentially store multiple items at, and use as an area to stage their trips and expeditions, leaving things behind in their private space if desired. I think the sense of ownership over their spot in particular and their ability to leave items in the space when they drive away with their boat/rv will bring a different (and more sticky) customer. At least that is the hope.

            I've attached my existing site layout (with lots of what I see as flaws), and a sketch of where I think I am heading moving forward to try help solve some of these issues. I'd value and appreciate any of your feedback!!

            Verdi Storage Site Plan-4.jpgsiteplan_20_30_80_40_90_30_20.jpg

            Those images are tiny, so try these versions:

            http://postimg.org/image/lg3ppwplx/
            http://postimg.org/image/9ahy4wg7h/

            The property slopes heavily towards the left and top hence the unused area back there.
            Last edited by flyinggoat; 12th July 2013, 09:52 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

              Originally posted by flyinggoat View Post
              Regarding valet, I've considered it, and there is a facility on the other side of town that does this, but I am hoping to head in another direction. I'd like people to have a space that the feel is their own, that they could potentially store multiple items at, and use as an area to stage their trips and expeditions, leaving things behind in their private space if desired. I think the sense of ownership over their spot in particular and their ability to leave items in the space when they drive away with their boat/rv will bring a different (and more sticky) customer. At least that is the hope.

              .
              We have RV storage, just regular outdoor 50' parking spaces. The spaces are assigned, but they have no place to leave items or personalize their spot. In our experience, almost all pay a year at a time, a few are on automatic payments. I think "stickiness" is just inherent in the case of parking RV's. In our area, they don't use them very often.....and when they do, they are gone for months at a time.

              The primary factor in renting to begin with is ease of getting into their assigned parking spot (as someone said, some can do incredible maneuvers with their RV's, some think they can, and others will never be able to put their RV in reverse), SECURITY---they must know their babies are safe, and distance from their home.

              They will pay more for these factors and retain the spot year after year if they can confidently and easily maneuver into their parking space and sleep well at night knowing their RV is safe and secure. So I would put my emphasis on those 2 factors. We have many RV's that people go long periods of time without coming to the facility....people always think they are going to use an RV much more frequently then they really do, especially after a few years of ownership.

              Even with boats, we are 4 miles from the ocean, and have many rivers and canals here, along with the intracoastal waterway and year round weather that is good for boating. I am always surprised at how rarely the boats get taken out.

              You may also want to consider, for additional income....providing an electrical source, and a place to clean their RV and dispose of trash when they return from a trip. Also a place to wash off the outside of boats is always desired.

              Other then that, my advice would be to contact Mister Jim for assistance...he's an expert with many decades of experience in this industry.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

                Lisa - thanks - regarding ease of getting into a space, that's precisely one of the reasons I am hyper concerned about getting this layout correct over the next couple few weeks. I think you will see the layout I reference above does a poor job of that hence my desire to rework things. We have super-easy access to highway 80 with basically our own exit, and maintaining that ease into the facility and into an individuals spot is very top of mind for me.

                I also think providing some electrical in our higher end (climate control, completely private, extra space to store things and stage packing) spots will definitely make sense. In regards to services, we are lucky to have RV Park basically adjacent to the property that has a gas station, pump station, propane services, etc. so we have all of those amenities nearly on site without incurring the cost (although will lose a bit of secondary revenue as a result). They have 100 or so higher end RVs there that would make great clients should they decide to stop living at the park full-time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

                  We started about 8 years ago working on a property that had many of the same difficulties. Our vision was very similar to what you've described, serving as the customer's homebase for their vacations, outings, etc. We do not offer outside parking. The biggest design feature that we boast about is our wide driveways, at least 50' and most of the facility is 65'+. Even with the widest driveways we've ever seen, some customers still complain that they would like more room to manuever. Check out our website... www.anchorstorageusa.com and/or take a look at this (also on our website) http://www.anchorstorageusa.com/img/anchor_map.png Give us a call, we might be willing to help from a consulting standpoint, if you're interested.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

                    AnchorStorageKY-

                    Thanks so much for reaching out! I am heading towards a center driveway of 50', with spots on angles. I believe this is the equivalent of a 60' drive in terms of the ability to maneuver into a space. The largest spots and vehicles will all park via this center driveway. These spots will be as deep as 50' or so.

                    Our secondary driveways will probably be 40', again with spaces on angles, which is approximately the equivalent of a 50' drive with straight-on spaces. These spots will be as deep as 35' or so.

                    I had originally designed with a layout similar to yours with buildings on the edge of the property, and those buildings only being 1 vehicle deep. I changed to the 2 vehicle deep layout as these buildings are cheaper as they use less steel. I found the cost differences to be significant.

                    I'll upload the latest revision later this week (50' primary drive, 40' secondary drives, buildings which accompany 2 vehicles deep approximately 80' deep in total positioned on a 45 or 60 angle) and would appreciate any additional feedback! I'm most interested in comparing notes with you on a variety of topics given the similarities of our facilities.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

                      Hi all-

                      As an update, I'm wrapping up approvals from the city of reno in regards to zone change, SUP, annexation, etc. and will be closing on purchase of the land in the next few weeks. This is the layout and basic layout and grading plan the city approved -- we start work on final plans soon.

                      site plan: https://pdfzen.com/61890e
                      grading plan: https://pdfzen.com/d73367

                      I'm still seeking any comments on the plan as a whole!

                      Also, I'm getting preliminary bids/estimates for ground work, paving, and of course from steel building companies.

                      When it comes to the companies supplying the actual buildings, what questions should I be asking? I'm new to this and outside of just getting pricing I don't know what to drill into -- appreciate your opinions and expertise!

                      John
                      Flying Goat Storage

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

                        John,

                        The biggest question I can think of, and I'm not trying to be over-dramatic is, can they build an enclosed steel storage building with angled units? And if so, are they price competitive? I've seen some enclosed buildings with angled units built using concrete block construction... but every steel building manufacturer I've encountered is not interested in trying angled enclosed units.

                        Once you have the answer to that, the other questions are mainly quality (gauge) of steel and finish warranty, standing seam vs screw-down roof, etc. Once you get bids, you have to look at all the different specs of each and in most cases account for differences to start comparing apples to apples... In other words, if one bid is considerably lower than another one, there is probably a reason (the steel is of lesser gauge or they have no warranty).

                        If you find a steel building system that accomodates angled enclosed units please post it on here.

                        AnchorStorageKY

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

                          You mean like this? It adds some cost to the project but I think we have done what you are talking about. The design more or less "jogs" every unit over a few feet to achieve the angled parking and structure.

                          angled_units.jpg

                          Steve Hajewski
                          Marketing Manager
                          Trachte Building Systems
                          800 356-5824

                          Originally posted by AnchorStorageKY View Post
                          John,

                          The biggest question I can think of, and I'm not trying to be over-dramatic is, can they build an enclosed steel storage building with angled units? And if so, are they price competitive? I've seen some enclosed buildings with angled units built using concrete block construction... but every steel building manufacturer I've encountered is not interested in trying angled enclosed units.

                          Once you have the answer to that, the other questions are mainly quality (gauge) of steel and finish warranty, standing seam vs screw-down roof, etc. Once you get bids, you have to look at all the different specs of each and in most cases account for differences to start comparing apples to apples... In other words, if one bid is considerably lower than another one, there is probably a reason (the steel is of lesser gauge or they have no warranty).

                          If you find a steel building system that accomodates angled enclosed units please post it on here.

                          AnchorStorageKY

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Site Design / Site Plan Consultant for Indoor Boat and RV site

                            Wow, that looks challenging. Just looking at the enclosed building, the footing will be stepped every 2 bays, also there will be a step b/t the width of the building? Dirtwork is almost always cheaper than concrete. I would check on the cost of leveling the site out a little more as opposed to what is shown. Also, I would be really concerned about my buildings flooding, especially the existing building. Once that is paved you will have a river heading straight for it.

                            Comment

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