Boys’ toys will have new home

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2007

By PERRY SMITH / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention.

Todd Murphy’s latest business venture came as a way to solve a practical problem that he shared with his neighbors.

As an RV owner, he couldn’t park his home on wheels at his house, and didn’t want to drive across town to leave it in storage.

“I was actually going to buy some land and put up a metal building and park my stuff in there,” Murphy said. “And then my neighbors said, ‘hey, let me go in with you.'”

Murphy, who also develops condominium, office and more traditional storage buildings, did his research and saw the need for a place where people could store their muscle cars, boats and RVs.

He felt just a storage space wasn’t enough and wanted to make it more of an extension to the home. The result became Big Boy Toy Condo, a building that provides a hybrid clubhouse-garage-storage unit. Murphy said it’s the first of its kind.

A Birmingham native, Murphy said he plans to expand the idea in the future, maybe across the state or even nationally, but the entrepreneur wanted to start close to home.

“Being from Alabama, we wanted to start in Alabama,” Murphy said.

Murphy predicted predominantly male customers for his business, hence the name, but said the units have a laundry list of potential from woodworking to office space. Unit owners will have 24-hour gated access to their vehicles, two dump stations for RVs, and a clubhouse with televisions, a poker table, a kitchenette and bathroom facilities.

Those with boats should have no problem fitting them into the units, which will have a 14-feet by 14-feet powered-door entrance meant to accommodate almost any size vehicle, and cabinets for tool or equipment storage.

“It’s a new concept and totally unique to the state of Alabama. In my opinion it could be the next mini-warehouse craze.”

Murphy said construction of the first 90-unit site, located near Lloyd’s on U.S. Highway 280, is awaiting final permits from the county but should start in December with plans for completion by spring.