New RV Storage Construction And Development Update

JC | August 18, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

Constructing a new RV storage facility is an arduous process that can take years to complete. That’s because counties and cities want to ensure any new development meets all the necessary zoning and code requirements. In fact, I’d say that getting past the initial permitting stages is the biggest hurdle to construct an RV Storage facility.

One of the things we feel we’ve done well has been working with the right team of experts to help us navigate everything related to this development.

The good news is that construction is well underway. Below is an update on how things have transpired and what is next to come.

Finding the Right Property

Given our vision to construct an open RV storage facility we knew that we needed to find the right property within the right zoning. Our search led us to Kelly Shea from Maj Commercial Real Estate. Kelly was invaluable throughout the process of making an offer, due diligence, and closing.

The property is conveniently located along I-5, just North of where the I-5 freeway and the 205 freeway merge, North of the Clark County Fairgrounds.

Project Feasibility

One of the first steps in this undertaking was sketching up our vision in terms of the amount of land to be developed, the number of spaces, and obtaining rough order of magnitude estimates for the overall construction of the project.

RV Storage Construction – Conceptual Layout

The next step was conducting an in-depth analysis to ensure the project was financially feasible. This involved hiring a feasibility expert to study the RV storage market, analyze the proposed number of spaces, estimate revenue, operating expenses, etc. For this we relied on the expertise of Bob Copper, from Self Storage 101.

As expected, the feasibility study concluded that demand for RV storage in the Vancouver area was sufficiently strong and that a new facility would do well.

Securing Financing for Land Acquisition and Construction

The process of securing financing to construct the RV storage facility began well before we purchased the land. That’s because from the start we were looking to secure a single loan for the land purchase and for the construction of the RV storage facility.

We were blessed to connect with John King, an SBA loan expert. John led us to the team at Live Oak Bank. Live Oak Bank understood our vision and was able to provide financing for the purchase of the land, the construction of the RV storage facility and took measures to ensure we had sufficient operating capital allocated and other reserves deemed necessary for the success of the project.

Land Acquisition

In the Summer of 2021 we finally closed on the purchase of 7.82 acres of land. Purchasing the property was the culmination of months of work researching properties, conducting preliminary feasibility studies, consulting with designers and county, etc.

We were really excited to finally close on this sale as we felt that this property was perfectly suited for constructing a new RV storage facility. The property is incumbered by wetlands on the North side of the property. This meant only a portion of the 7.82 acres could be developed. Nevertheless, the location, price, zoning, and all other important characteristics needed to develop a successful RV storage facility were there.

Obtaining Permits to Develop an RV Storage Facility

Obtaining permits has been the biggest hurdle to date. Our vision for RV Storage Vancouver has been to construct an open RV storage facility with no canopies or structures. There are several reasons for this, but one of them is that obtaining permits for what is essentially a “parking lot” is a lot easier than obtaining permits for a facility with any type of structure. We also knew that one of the things we needed to do was to construct our facility as soon as possible to beat any possible competition.

The permitting process began on August of 2021, with a Pre-Application Conference with the county. This is a process where county officials evaluate the proposed project and the county’s code requirements to give the applicant an indication of what will be required.

At around this time we also contracted AKS Engineering to design our new facility. We could not be happier with our decision to involve AKS from the early stages of this project. They have designed similar facilities, know the code requirements and have a long working relationship with the county.

AKS developed a the Preliminary Site Plan, which was submitted on March of 2022. This was approved on December of 2022 giving us the green light to submit final construction drawings. These were submitted on January of 2023. After much back and forth we obtained final approvals in June of 2023.

RV Storage Construction Update

We were able to clear the brush from non-wetland areas before permits were issued. We were required to obtain forestry permits for the removal of a few large trees. Construction began on July 6 and is schedule to complete in September.

The contractor for this work is Legacy 6 Construction, out of Ridgefield, WA. Their office is located across I-5 from our location. Legacy 6 has plenty of experience with this type of work.

Looking Ahead

Our plan is to open for business by the end of September of 2023. Our friends from on Tenant Inc are helping get our website ready to start taking reservations. For now you can join the waitlist.