A decade ago, self-professed car fanatic Chris Rodgers had an idea to build a gleaming garage filled with row upon row of luxury vehicles.
The property developer’s dream is now taking shape on the Sunshine Coast with construction of a multi-storey vehicle puzzle stacker, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia.
The stacker will be five storeys high and, as a vehicle is moved in or out, all of the cars will change positions in a mechanised system.
Mr Rodgers said it would hold 31 cars and was going to be “pretty exciting”.
You’re dialling your number in and your car physically puzzles down to the bottom where it comes out,” he said.
“And that means cars will move on a weekly basis when people use them.
“So when you come in and sit down in the viewing platform, cars will be in different spots all the time.”
It is part of a $7.5 million, 11-unit commercial development in Aura Business Park, which will have a focus on top end auto businesses.
Mr Rodgers, a director at Yindi Holdings, said the luxury car garage was being marketed towards downsizers who had run out of room for their “toys”.
“Or they’re kind of in a tin shed somewhere and it’s not really the best environment to store them in.”
Idea born in the USA
Mr Rodgers said the idea was inspired during a visit to the United States.
“We saw a similar concept over in Houston … about 10, 12 years ago, and thought, ‘That’s the type of development that we want to build Australia’,” he said.
“There were at least 200, maybe 150 cars stored in there, so yeah, [it was] quite substantial.”
But Mr Rodgers and his business partners decided to start with more a modest approach.
“We thought, if we build one here first and we just do it a little bit boutique, then that will test the waters,” he said.
“We’d like to expand it into other states and other areas as well.
“So this is kind of our test model.”
Buying ‘factories’ to store cars
Roadrunner Car Club president Graeme Block could see the usefulness of such a development, with his members often struggling to find space for their collection.
“I know people who buy factories to store them … which is an expensive exercise,” he said.
“So if somebody’s providing the sort of storage that is ultra secure, so that valuable cars are protected, there would be a market there for it.”
He said people had collections of cars that the general public never saw.
“You’d be surprised the number of cars you never see,” Mr Block said.
Mr Rodgers said the facility would include meeting rooms for local car club members to use.
“And that is sharing those interests in regards to whether it’s a high-end exotic car, or it’s an antique car, muscle car,” he said.
“There’s definitely quite a large community of car lovers on the coast and this is just going to be a small support for that whole group.”
The development is due to open early next year.
Article source: www.abc.net.au