"Toy barns" help the rich store their big toys

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- One of the best ways to judge someone's financial success is the size of their toys. Muscle cars, boats, motorcycles, trucks, jet skis, the list goes on.

But where do they put all those big boy toys, especially if they're downsizing their homes? This is where a "toy barn", a luxury condo just for cars and other toys, come in.

"This particular unit is a 26 by 66. One of our larger units," said creator Paul Phillips.

From the outside, it may look more like an upscale storage facility. Behind the double-high garage doors, however, is a man cave to be very envious of.

"The concept for the design came from moving away from simple storage box facilities and gave a modern approach to it," said architect John Mocarski, who is a project director at LGE Design Group.

The concept came from Phillips, who had some property he wasn't sure what to do with.

"Back in 2007, I had a piece of property at Cave Creek and Cave View which I was going to sell condos. That market tanked pretty quickly," said Phillips.

The City of Scottsdale didn't have a building code for storage garages, so Phillips' lawyers wrote one that was eventually approved by the city.

With that, toy barns was born. It's a condo people can own, just like a home. A home for their toys.

"Most of our guys are car guys," said Phillips. "We got quads. Big motorhomes. Anything that's motorized."

Like most condos, a car barn comes with a clubhouse.

"This is just a nice hangout for the owners," said Phillips. "Whether its a private party or just in here on their own."

Mocarski says it's the clubhouse that draws people in.

"The gem of this is the actual clubhouse. We wanted to make it feel like home to them, with family and friends and just a good place to hang out," said Mocarski.

Phillips also credits the growth of homeowners associations in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area who don't like large garages.

"One of the things that help us with our toy barns, especially in this location, are the strong HOAs in larger communities," said Phillips. "Desert Mountain, Troon, Troon North, Silver Leaf, they don't like big garages or multiple garages. They might have their garage at Silver Lake for six cars, but they need additional space. So it's been a real strong part of our market."

Owners can customize the size of their toy barn, as well as what they put in it.

"We have one gentleman who put three units side by side," said Phillips. "So, he's got a basically 75 by 50. He's got quite a motorcycle collection."

Phillips says as long as boys want their toys, there will be plenty of demand for toy barns.

"It's a toy barn, hence the toy. It's for toys," said Phillips.

There are a total of five toy barns in the Valley currently. Most have a waiting list.

Toy Barn Storage