Local entrepreneur Jay Ablah is diving into the garage condominiums business.
Ablah and his son, Jeremy Ablah, are the lead partners on My Extra Garage — an endeavor set to start locally, with hopes of significant growth.
Construction is expected to begin in October at 2919 N. Commerce Drive in Derby — just north of Lowe’s — on the first structure of what is planned to be a five-building, 96-unit project when completed.
“This is an idea that we’re going to do on a national basis,” Jay Ablah said. “That’s the goal.”
Garage condo projects seek to attract individuals wanting to buy (instead of rent) long-term storage space that they can morph into a variety of uses.
According to Ablah, one area My Extra Garage is set to differentiate itself is pricing, with its units at just over $100 per square foot.
“The goal is for My Extra Garage to be something that the average guy has the chance to be part of,” he said.
Units come in six sizes (ranging from 625 square feet to 1,500 square feet), but buyers can purchase more than one and combine them into a single space, as every interior wall has the option of being removed, Ablah said.
My Extra Garage will join a local market that has seen similar projects, including northwest Wichita’s Sandlot Garage Condos, grab buyers’ interest.
Ablah said he’s seen individuals save money through the concept, and that there is no shortage of uses for the spaces.
They can be a workshop, a place to store a boat or cars, an artist studio, a place to watch the big game with friends and more.
“It’s amazing the stuff people come up with,” he said.
Standard features on each My Extra Garage unit include an extra-wide insulated garage door, prewiring for cable and internet, pre-plumbing for a bathroom and 110 electrical outlets and light switches. The community, with around-the-clock secured-gate access, also has on-site trash services and wide-drive aisles.
Optional upgrades include a free-standing mezzanine with staircase, bathroom with a vanity and sink and heat and air conditioning, among other options.
Buyers can also opt to lease their space, as long as they follow property rules, which include not allowing people to live on site or convert a units to an Airbnb.
Individuals can currently reserve their units, and Ablah said that in one week — in working with My Extra Garage’s broker, Landmark Commercial Real Estate’s Beau Hudson — seven people have shown interest.
“We expect to sell these out within 12 months,” Ablah said.
Ablah said he anticipates construction on the second and third buildings starting before the first building is complete, and that the whole project could be built out in 18 months.
JLP Construction is the general contractor, and SPT Architecture is the architect.
Heartland Credit Union is involved with the construction loans and is offering financing options for prospective buyers, Ablah said.
In addition to himself and his son, Jeremy, Riley Family Investments and Palomino Petroleum’s Klee Watchous and Nick Gerstner are partners in the $7.5-million project.
Ablah, a former oil industry executive whose other businesses include natural skin-care product brand Raybae, said My Extra Garage is actively looking at the Oklahoma City area for more locations as it aims for 50-100 facilities across the country over the next 15 years.
He said that he and his son should learn much from this first effort.
“Especially if we’re going to replicate this, we need to get it right,” Ablah said.