The Toy Vault, which is finishing construction off U.S. 41 in south Fort Myers, has opened and reached 40% occupancy, with repercussions from Hurricane Ian both helping and hindering the new business’ efforts.
Cara Siciliano serves as the broker for the self-storage concept, which has a combined 135,000 square feet of space, after her husband bought the land at 17875 S. Tamiami Trail about a decade ago. It stayed vacant as they pondered what to do with it.
They decided on a high-end self-storage space, divided into 95 units near completion, plus another 25 units to be developed later. The customizable spaces range in size from 600 to 1,800 square feet and in price from $167,000 to $487,000. Each unit includes a bathroom, but other amenities, such as a mezzanine level and shower can be added.
“You can put anything you want in there,” Siciliano said. “If you can dream it, I can build it. They’re delivered as a shell, and then you can customize them.
“These are basically like man caves or lady caves or anybody’s caves. You can build mezzanines. You can put offices in here. Kitchens. Game rooms. We can bring in multiple car stack lifts. We can put in two stacks or three stacks, whatever your needs are.”
There are more than 50 surveillance cameras on-site, watching over what will be a collection of luxury cars, boats, recreational vehicles and other such toys. One tenant is building a game room with space for a Rolls-Royce, Siciliano said. Her brother-in-law, for now, is storing three luxury cars, including a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible and a 2021 Ford Shelby GT 500 Mustang.
“We have Lamborghinis,” she said. “We have Ferraris. We have Bentleys, Mercedes. You name it, we have it. Cigarette boats, pontoon boats, Jet Skis, among other assets.”
With the continued influx of newcomers moving to Florida, many are not finding enough space in their new homes.
“There is such a demand for this,” Siciliano said. “A lot of people are in condos. They’re in deed-restricted communities. They don’t have basements. They don’t have the crawl spaces. They just don’t have the extra space. It was a win-win for us and the clients.”
Siciliano relocated to the area from Boston. She said The Toy Vault was fortunate to have its construction permitting in place before Hurricane Ian hit last year. Although the storm put a dent in coastal properties, keeping many part-time residents from moving back into their wrecked winter homes, the storm also encouraged residents to find secure, off-island storage for their boats and cars.
“The other aspect to this project is that a lot of insurance companies are requiring my clients to store their assets away from the water in a non-flood zone,” Siciliano said. “And we are high, and we’re dry.”