22/05/2017 - 11:36

More than a man cave, it’s an investment

22/05/2017 - 11:36

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Perth-based property investment group Metro Invest has created a new class of asset, tapping into the increasing demand for space as backyard sheds and workshops disappear from the suburbs.

More than a man cave, it’s an investment
Stephen Smith (left) and Steve Buljan are expecting considerable interest in their new storage concept. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Perth-based property investment group Metro Invest has created a new class of asset, tapping into the increasing demand for space as backyard sheds and workshops disappear from the suburbs.

Metro Invest has partnered with funds management group Sphere Capital to create Mi Caves, a combination of traditional storage facilities and the popular concept of a ‘man cave’.

Mi Caves managing director Steve Buljan said the Mi Caves concept differed from existing storage facilities in that each individual unit could be customised to a client’s needs, with internet and Foxtel connectivity, kitchen and bathroom facilities, and 24-hour security among the differentiating features.

Mr Buljan, who has an extensive background in property development and land subdivision, said the Mi Caves concept had attracted huge interest in Sydney and Melbourne, but there was currently no similar product on offer in Perth.

“Storage has been an issue for people over the years, and we’re finding that space is a commodity that people need,” Mr Buljan told Business News.

“There are a lot of people that have expensive things but they don’t have anywhere to put them which is safe.

“And we started looking at building innovation hubs, where people can get together and do what they need to do to go forward with their own innovations, ways of thinking, and having a place where they can find a bit of solace as well.”

Mr Buljan said Mi Caves had attracted interest from sophisticated investors, as well as those looking for an easy entry-level property investment.

“It enables people to invest in a project with the end purpose of getting involved in development without getting their hands dirty,” he said.

“What I mean by that is, if you want to go into development by yourself, you’ve got to go buy the land, get a deposit, get to construction, get finance and you’ve got to do the whole thing yourself to get an outcome.

“Here, by having a collective and collaborative process and a group of professionals doing it all for the investor, essentially they get the same amount of profit as they would doing their own development.”

The first Mi Caves development is proposed for Landsdale, with 37 units on offer, most around twice the size of a standard garage.

Mr Buljan said the units could be customised for individual needs, whether that be to store a boat or a vintage automobile, set up a small business like a microbrewery, or provide space for stock for an online business.

Investors are able to purchase a unit outright, for themselves or to rent it out, or alternatively invest a minimum of $100,000 into a development syndicate,” he said.

“What we’ve tried to do is ascertain the market where we could de-risk the most,” Mr Buljan said.

“With property development, there is no guarantee.

“But through speaking with Sphere Capital and Stephen Smith, we just identified that in terms of investment, in terms of being able to market it and the easy turnaround aspect of what we’re doing here, probably has a bit more potential than selling apartments or selling residential houses and competing with all of the builders in what is a pretty subdued market at this point in time.”

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