Update October 26th, 2015
Change.org - Petition to Keep the RV Storage Open
The City of Irvine has ordered the closure of the outdoor storage facility located at The Great Park. As of September 17, 2015 approx. 700 of the 2100 vehicles have been vacated. The problem is that the other 1400 have no place to move to. All Orange County RV storage facilities are at 100% Max. occupancy. More Here...
October 12th, 2015 - The Storage Facilitator
About 2,000 RV owners have been notified by Flying Bull RV Storage in Irvine, CA that they must vacate the property by Jan. 31, triggering a rush to find available storage space in the area.
The city, which owns the land, is ending a month-to-month lease arrangement with Flying Bull to make room for the completion of the Great Park, a large residential and commercial development, said city spokesman Craig Reem. More Here...
Forum Discussion on the issue (River Daves Place)
I just went through a circus trying to get all my stuff settled from the last storage closure and now I have to do it again.
Only now all the local storage places are aware of this and are jacking rates big time. 30' space $285 mo. WTF?
So I may be taking my Motorhome to the River and leaving it there where it will fade away and turn to dust. We hardly get to the freaking river these days.
Hopefully a good heads up for someone here.
They only have like 3800 RV's, boats, or whatever stored there. The place is massive.
Nowhere for that stuff to go in the OC. More Here...
RV Pro, October 8th, 2015 - California RV Storage Business' Closing Sends Customers Scrambling
Now it is no rumor. Flying Bull RV Storage is set to close by Jan. 31. About 1,000 spaces have emptied in the past two months, according to co-owner Kevin Ingley, intensifying the demand for storage space in Southern California.
If I had 100 units to sell today, I’d probably sell out in six months, Deits said. But the 107 garages at Eucalyptus are already owned, although a few customers are looking to resell, he said. More Here...
Orange County Register, October 7th, 2015 - 2200 RV Owners Displaced
A portion of the land where the RVs sit today is among the 688 acres being developed by FivePoint with sports fields and other recreational amenities for the city of Irvine, in exchange for permission to build more houses around the park.
But the majority of the acreage is slated for a state veterans cemetery. That proposal is being put together by the California Department of Veterans Affairs, or CalVet. In 2016 an application will go to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for funds to build and operate the cemetery. More Here...
Update August 21st, 2015
El Toro RV storage shutting down after 10 years of uncertainty. The timeline is like this.
- Lennar purchases the old EL Toro Base for home construction in (2005)
- Lennar begins to remove the runways to make way for construction (2007)
- Economy begins to faulter in 2008. Lennar moth balls the project
- Five Point Communities (a division of Lennar) takes over the project (approx 2011)
- Legislation is introduced to turn the land under the RV storage into a cemetery (2014)
- Irvine City Council adopts time line to move out the RV's (July 2015)
- General Announcement that all the 2200 RV's must be relocated by January 2016
This news, while we all knew it was going to happen, took 10 years this day to arrive. It has struck the Orange County RV community like a thunderbolt.
Prices at many RV storage facilities have increased by 30% overnight, and will continue to rise as the RV's make the massive exodus from El Toro. RIght now, in
late September, the storage rush is not too bad, but in December, that will all change.
I have had my ear to the ground on this issue since 2005 and have been watching and reporting on the progress or lack thereof for a very long time.
I have cried wolf so many times that it is frankly embarrassing. FWIW - I relied on City Legislators for my information, but it has proven to be a moving target and for the most part, unreliable, as moods, and construction schedules change due to laws, the economy, and the ever changing operators of the RV storage facility.
So, what now you ask? What is going to happen?
First off, the existing RV storage facilites that are left have been anticipating this for a long time now. I, being one of them, do share in the enthusiasm of the moment, but I have nothing left to sell or rent. The project sold out 6 months ago. Once again, my timing is just perfect
. (I wish I could rid myself of the perpetual cloud that has followed me for 5 years now). From what I am hearing so far, rental rates for RV storage are increasing and will increase through the end of the year. Can you blame them?
Often I am asked if they will build more RV storage in the Orange County area? The answer is simple. No. Land in Orange County is over 2 million per acre. You can only store 40 or so RV's per acre. 2200 rv's divided by 40 rv's per acre, equals 55 acres. That is a capital investment of $110,000,000 before improvements.(yes 110 million). Not going to happen.
The Irvine City council last year asked for bids from a few existing RV Storage operators to take over the lease of the RV storage facility. There were 6 potentials (myself included). It never went anywhere. In fact, with the limited life left on the lease (one year at the time), it made no sense to staff up, then have to fire everyone when the "RV exhaust" hits the fan. It simply was not feasible to even make an attempt.
There is strorage available in the Inland Empire, generally beyond Corona. How long the availability will last is anyones guess. My suggestion is to get moving on alternative storage right away. 2200 RV's is a small city on the move.
My clients are sitting pretty smug right now, as they own their storage condos. Many scoffed at me when I came up with the concept of "Condo Storage" in California. "Why would I want to buy storage?" was all I heard for the first few years. Now, as many are facing what could be termed as a RV Storage crisis, now they "get it".
My only wish is " I wish I had another 100 Storage Condos to sell". Here is a link to our resales and rentals if any.
UPDATE - August 28th, 2014
Assembly Bill AB1453 Southern California Veterans Cemetery
has now passed both
the Assembly and Senate (78-0 (Assembly) and 33-0 (Senate)). This will provide intermediate funding for the construction of the Veterans Cemetery on 120 acres of land within the
Great Park, displacing the RV storage facility which houses 2400 RV's now stored on the runways of the old El Toro Air Field.
This ends the decade long battle on what to do with the 120 acres of land, that until recently has been set aside for the storage of RV's. More noble of
a use could not be found, and the Veterans who have defended our country deserve everything that we can do to show our continued support.
However, there is a business side to this as well. One point that I have been trying to make for years...Where are all the RV's going to go? There simply is
not enough storage in Orange County to support that many RV's. In effect, 2400 RV's constitute a small city. In Irvine, where land values are 2 million per acre,
it simply does not make sense to even attempt to store RV's on land that valuable. Even if someone did, the cost for the land would be $50,000 per RV, assuming
40 RV's per acre. That cost does not include any improvements, security or staff. It simply cannot economically be done.
Here is what is going to happen
First off, the RV owners will be given about 90 days notice to vacate. That will cause a panic for those seeking affordable storage. (The rates charged by the current
operators of the facility are and have been artifically low, thanks to a relativley low lease rate for the land (about 5 cents a sq ft)). Currently the rate to store a
40' RV at El Toro is about $150 per month, but that could go up or down based on the width of the space. That rate simply cannot be duplicated in Orange County. So the obvious
reaction will be the RV owners will be forced to seek storage in outlying areas where land is condusive to RV storage. Further, the rates of existing storage certainly will
be on an upswing, since supply will be low, and demand will be high. Simple economics.
1. RV storage will become increasingly rare
2. RV storage will become increasingly expensive
3. Cities will no doubt, if they haven't already, impose parking restrictions for RV's on city streets
4. Orange County RV owners will have to get used to driving to outlying areas for storage
5. The days of waiting lists for RV storage we experienced in 2004-2007 will return
6. Potential RV owners will have to secure a storage space before purchasing their RV.
I sincerely hope by now, you can see the wisdom of owning your storage. With ownership none of the above issues will haunt you. No longer will you have to
deal with rent increases, or limited availability of storage. Better yet, why not become the landlord and you can turn the RV storage shortage into
a real profit center? Think about it.
UPDATE - August 10th, 2014
Assembly Bill AB1453 Southern California Veterans Cemetery
has been placed
in APPR. Basically, it has been put on hold. Here is a summary of the current status of the bill -
08/04/14 - From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to committee. Read second time, amended, and re-referred to Com. on APPR. (End status: In Committee Process)
08/04/14 - In committee: Placed on APPR. suspense file. (End status: In Committee Process)
July 24th, 2014
The RV storage saga of the last 9 years has once again, taken an abrupt left turn as the Irvine City Council approves the dedication of
120 acres of land to the Southern California Veterans Memorial Cemetery. This land was acquired by the City of Irvine from FivePoint Communities several years
ago. On this land sits the RV storage facility housing well over 2,000 RV's.
While I believe there is no more noble of a gesture on the part of the City of Irvine, and I cannot think of a better use for this land. My hat is off to the
City for coming together to make this happen. My father was a veteran of World War II. He served as a Captain on a destroyer escort for the entire duration of the war. All of the
veterans in the audience at this meeting were passionate about this dedication. I cannot blame them. It gave me goose bumps to watch the Video (Discussion starts at the 50 minute mark)
. I can only imagine the
energy in the room that evening even though it was expressed well in the Video (Discussion starts at the 50 minute mark.)
Even though this was passed without hesitation by Irvine, there are still many issues to be dealt with. One of course is the remediation of the land. This could be a very expensive process, but one that has to be done.
It has been remediated by the Navy in years past, but the agreement states that the developer of the property will have to do the final remediation, whatever that entails. The City Council also has no idea.
Assembly Bill AB1453 Southern California Veterans Cemetery
authored by Quirk-Silva will be presented on August 4th, 2014
and expected to pass. This will provide some of the initial funding for the construction and study of this project. The City will also be applying for additional Grants
and subsidies from the State and Federal agencies to assist in the completion of this project.
Where does this leave the RV owner?
Not to be insensitive to the above issue, but the land that will be/has been dedicated to the Southern California Veterans Memorial Cemetery, is the land where the RV storage
facility is located. I have been following this development for 9 years now. It has changed direction at least as many times. At one point in 2007 they were actually removing the runways. That
was halted due to the faltering economy. The land sat until 2012 when Lennar and FivePoint Communities green lighted construction. The entire background can be seen under the next heading titled "Background".
On July 23rd 2014 I received a call from the City of Irvine regarding the RFP (request for proposal) to take over the management of the RV storage facility. Seems they are putting out for bid
an ongoing business (RV Storage) with potential revenue of over 2 million per year. It is not often you get the chance to take over an existing business with that sort of revenue. However,
they stated as of July 23rd 2014, they had no idea how long the RV storage will exist.
Oops. Always a fly in the ointment.
The RFP will be going out in
a few weeks as they are just now trying to figure out what impacts the above cemetery dedication will have on the longevity of the RV Storage. Even before the dedication,
they still had no idea. This is going to be real interesting how this all turns out.
Would you like to bid on the RV Storage business? It is up for grabs
Here is how to do it -
- Visit the City of Irvine website, Purchasing page, at Purchasing Page
- Click on the "Supplier Registration and Bid Opportunities" link, and review the information about our online system
- Click on the "BidsOnline" link
- Click on the "New Vendor Registration" button
- Complete the electronic supplier registration process including selecting Category Code(s) describing the goods and/or services you provide
- Check for current bid and RFP opportunities by clicking on the "Bid Opportunities" link
The question that begs an answer is how long will the RV storage facility be around? No one seems to have that answer. I thought I did, several times, but
was proven wrong each time, despite comments from the City and the various developers. It seems this concept of Veterans Cemetary has some real power behind it.
It could come to fruition in very short order.
2500 RV Storage Spaces in Orange County May Be Lost - VIDEO Included
The loss will RESULT IN HIGHER RV storage costs in Southern California
July 17th, 2014
Updated to address concerns of Flying Bull RV Storage The current interim operator of the subject property below
Video of the Irvine City Council meeting discussing the potential closure of the RV Storage facility -
video of the meeting HERE Starts the
RV storage discussion at the 20 minute mark
Upon the closure of the El Toro Air Field in Orange County in 1999, the existing landing strips were turned into the nations largest RV storage lot, with 2500 RV's parked on the runways. A sorely needed commodity in the Orange County area, since the high cost of land made it unfeasible to allocate 2 million dollar an acre land for the storage of RV's.
In 2005 Lennar Corp purchased the closed El Toro Marine Air Base for 650 million, with the idea to develop 10,000 homes and 2 million sq ft of commercial / industrial property.
In 2009, the idea was put on hold during the economic down turn. The City of Irvine received about 200 million from the developer to partially fund the Great Park Project.
Governor Brown, again due to the economic downturn,
all funding (formally 1.4 billion) that was earmarked for the Great Park project.
In 2012, it seemed the economic recovery was under way, and Lennar and Five Point Communities, a sub set of Lennar Corp, renewed their plans and pushed forward with development.
Early in November, 2013 All Star Services, the operator of leased land held by the City of Irvine and Lennar Corp / Five Point Communities,
gave their 30 day notice
that they would no longer manage the 2500 space RV storage lot located on the old abandoned El Toro Air Field . The monthly lease amount paid by All Star Services was $147,000 per month. This covered about 60+ acres, mostly on the old airport runways.
The 30 day notice took effect December 1st, 2013
Flying Bull RV Storage
is the current interim operator of the facility
Great Park Gets Approval-
On November 27th, 2013, the City of Irvine gave Lennar Corp and Five Point Communities approval to build an additional 4600 homes in exchange for
Lennar to complete the Great Park project also located on the runways directly in the path of the 2500 stored RV's. This presents a potentially great problem for all
Southern California RV owners.
Click on image for larger more detailed photo
Overview of El Toro Storage Facility
Problem #1 -
All Star Services contractually had an obligation to give 30 days notice, which they did, not leaving the City of Irvine much chance to react.
There are few people willing to take on such a huge monthly debt with the possibility of just months left before the land owners have to relocate all the RVs. They are trying to move the contact to another company, partially owned by All Star Services,
with a reduction in rents of $70K per year, along with a 120 days notice to vacate with tiered rent reductions during the notice period.
Problem #2 -
The 2500 RV's are all parked directly in the path of the Great Park Project development. At best, the life of the RV storage is reported to be measured in months,
although, I recevied a call from the new operators of
the storage facility Flying Bull RV Storage (July 17th, 2014) stating that they will be there for five years,
even though their contract is on a month to month basis.
Additionally, Irvine City Council is going out to bid for a potential new operator, Request for Proposal (RFP). But the city, while it wishes to retain the revenue,
they have no control on the length of the lease, if there is to be a lease at all.
Here is a
Video of the meeting here
- Starts the RV Storage discussion at Irvine City Hall at the 20 minute mark
Problem #3 -
The revenue per acre from El Toro RV Storage is about $2,450 ($147,000 divided by 60 acres). The land value by anyone's estimation is about 2 million per acre. So, on a total investment
of $120,000,000 (60 acres times $2,000,000), the projected return on investment is $1,764,000 or 1.47% annually.
That is a terrible return on investment by anyone's measure. Any responsible company will recognize the low return on investment, and utilize the land to its highest and best use.
Obviously, all of this will result in
higher storage costs
throughout Southern California. The storage fees charged by El Toro RV Storage have been artificially
low since 2005. Currently, the rate to store a 40' RV is $160 per month at El Toro. That is a very fair price for RV storage in areas like rural Riverside or L.A. County, but for
regions like Orange County, this is bargain basement. A realistic price based on land values of $2,000,000 per acre would be closer to $400 per month. Even that rate
may be low. But we don't really know, since no one has built RV storage in Orange County for years now. The reason....they can't. It does not make financial sense.
First off, the cost for storage of RV's will increase dramatically by this summer if the RV's are asked to relocate. That is a given. There is little available storage in the Orange County area
due mainly to the high cost of land. The era of inexpensive outdoor storage in Orange County is over.
There may be a huge exodus of RV owners seeking another storage solution. This in itself will create a massive problem, as even in the outlying areas, there is very little
storage available. In talking to owners of RV storage facilities in the Riverside area, they are preparing for this by way of increasing prices. It is a natural occurrence
since limited supply and increased demand always means higher costs.
How to Control Your Storage Costs-
When I built Eucalyptus at Beaumont, I knew this was going to happen. I had been watching the sale of El Toro to Lennar, and felt this was going to be a great opportunity.
What I didn't know, (no one else did either), was the impending disaster of the 2009 economy crashing. All of the plans for El Toro were put on hold. Everything stopped.
Fast forward to 2013, it seems the economy is mending itself, despite our administration efforts that appeared to be headed towards self destruction. Real Estate is once again selling,
Banks are lending, and people are buying RV's and other consumer discretionary items once again. We are all feeling pretty good.
Here at Eucalyptus at Beaumont, we only have 12 units left. Five were sold last weekend. People with vision are buying their storage to head off the forthcoming
increase storage costs. Both immediate increases, and future increases. My feeling has always been, "Rentals return nothing". " I have never known anyone to get rich
The math is easy. Own your enclosed storage unit for as little as $271 per month. Your costs are controlled. In five years, you could enjoy significant
appreciation. Can you say the same for rentals?
VIDEO IRVINE CITY COUNCIL MEETING -RV STORAGE AND GREAT PARK APPROVAL - HERE