When Preston Fox wants to relax, he goes to the garage.
Fox, the owner of 4-Square Builders in Glencoe, calls himself a “car guy.” While some people head to the lake for vacation, he likes to spend his downtime with his 1970 Mustang Boss 302. He’s betting others share his passion as he embarks on a new business venture — Hutch Garage Condos, at 1443 Adams St. S.E.
“It’s not just a storage garage,” Fox said. “It’s a man cave, garage condos. It’s a car guy’s or woman’s cabin. You work all week, and what’s your hobby? My car is my hobby, and this is a good place for me to be with cars and other guys.”
Fox said he got the idea from similar car communities in towns such as Chanhassen, Ham Lake and St. Boni.
Many people may not have large garages, especially in a town like Hutchinson where the older homes were built with one- or two-stall garages. So what are people to do if they want more space in their garage, but they don’t want to move or renovate? Fox is hoping they purchase one of his garage condos.
“It’s a fun gathering community,” he said. “Obviously, if you wanted you could just store your stuff here, but it’s a fun place to be.”
The “condos” are 30 feet by 40 feet and come with 12- or 16-foot ceilings, two windows, a walk-in door and an insulated overhead door. The price for a base unit with 12-foot ceilings starts at $49,900. A unit with 16-foot ceilings is $54,900.
The base units consist of cold storage, rough-in sewer and water, 4-inch concrete floors, drywall for fire separation and an electrical meter outside. But that’s only the beginning. The garages can be customized to the owner’s desire with dozens of different options. Everything from a variety of electrical and plumbing choices, to in-floor heating, bathrooms, a kitchen and loft are available.
“We will customize it however you want,” Fox said. “If you just want plain Sheetrock walls, so be it. Some people want that. Maybe they’re going to put posters all over.”
Depending how much customization a person wants, Fox said a garage could be ready within two to three weeks. And when people buy garages, they aren’t just renting, they own it.
Currently there is one building up with seven separate units, four of which are available. Fox’s plan is to eventually put up two more buildings for 21 total garage condos. They will be arranged in a triangle formation, creating a grass courtyard in the middle for gathering.
“We have an association that will be in place eventually,” Fox said.
For now, Fox is drumming up interest in the garage condos so he and his neighbor can have some company. After all, the thing that will truly make this community great isn’t the cars. It’s the people.
“A couple Friday nights ago, we had both (garage) doors open, four or five friends each, and one was a mechanic,” Fox said. “I walked over, grabbed a drink out of the fridge, talked about my issue with the car, and it was just a fun gathering community.”