February 16, 2012 4:11 PM
Over 3,500 RV owners in Orange County will soon be scrambling to find a storage place for their RVs. The property where the vehicles are currently stored is slated for a housing and commercial development and a park.
The El Toro Marine Base was the site of the of Marine Corps aviation on the West Coast. It had four runways and could handle all of the military's largest aircraft. In 1999, the El Torro Marine Base was closed. There was a huge controversy over what to do with the base. Some people wanted to turn it into an international airport. Others, especially residents in the area, were against the idea because they didn't want the noise that would come from all of the airplanes landing and taking off.
There were two hotly contested ballot initiatives. The battle even entered the court system. Eventually the opponents won out and the Department of Defense decided to sell the property to private interests for development. The abandoned runways were turned into a huge storage lot for row after row of RVs. Currently, there are 3500 RVs stored there.
In 2005, Lennar Corp purchased the Marine Base. They planned on building communities with residential areas, a park, and a place for businesses. On January 31, 2012, they broke ground for the first phase of development which will include over 10,000 homes and 1 million square feet of commercial buildings. The RVs that had been stored on the runways will now have to be moved.
This will be a big boon for self storage owners and a big problem for RV owners. Currently, there is little available storage in Orange County for RVs. When there is a great demand for something that is limited, prices go up. This means that because there isn't enough storage facility space for all 3500 RVs, owners of self storage businesses can increase their prices and people will pay the price because they need someplace to store their RV. (Many of the cities have ordinances against parking RVs in a residential driveway.)
Land in the area is too expensive and rare for someone to come in and build new self storage facilities. Additionally, small developers aren't likely to build new facilities because construction financing is difficult to get. Also, many cities don't like non-revenue generating uses.
Some enterprising entrepreneurs have rented large warehouses and offered it as storage for RVs. This option tends to be extremely expensive. There is also a big concern about fire hazards. If one RV catches on fire, the fire will most likely spread easily to other RVs nearby. Another option for RV owners could be Eucalyptus at Beaumont which is a unique condominium (individually owned) storage project.
"Southern California RV Storage Operators About to Cash In." PRWeb; 16 February 2012.
Eucalyptus at Beaumont.
Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.Wikipedia.