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More luxury garage condos gear up for Lakewood Ranch

Luxe Flex Garage is a more budget-friendly version of the original Luxe Dream Garage, which held its groundbreaking in August 2022.


  • By Lesley Dwyer
  • | 5:00 a.m. December 4, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Some examples of how the Luxe Flex garages can be customized.
Some examples of how the Luxe Flex garages can be customized.
Courtesy image
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Jon Astore says his architect father handed him a building block before a baby bottle.

“I love designing good things for the world,” he says. “We’re innovating a new concept in Luxe Flex Garage.”

Astore has been a resident of Manatee County for over 20 years and is the managing partner at Luxe Dream Garage.

The new Flex storage garage will be built across the street from the original on Systems Court in Lakewood Ranch. Plans have passed preliminary reviews with Sarasota County, but Astore says they won’t be handing out keys for another two years. With a $5,000 refundable deposit, prospective owners can reserve a space now.

Luxe Dream and Luxe Flex share the same concept: owning and customizing your own garage versus renting a space. Flex, he says, is a slightly paired down version of the original.

“We had a lot of feedback where the price points were not obtainable for much of the population, which was understandable, The Luxe Dream garages range in the $300,000s to $680,000,” Astore says. “So we started to conceptualize this other concept.”

Managing Partner Jon Astore and Founding Partner David Slone announce the opening of Luxe Flex Garage at Cars and Coffee at UTC on Nov. 11.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

While Luxe Dream had no problem selling out, Luxe Flex will have a lounge instead of a clubhouse and smaller units to appeal to a wider range of budgets.

Astore became involved in the business after he wanted to add a garage onto his home, but knew he wouldn’t be able to get his money back out of the investment. He estimates seven out of 10 homeowners in suburbia are just like him and in need of more space because the garage is filled with everything other than cars.

Flex offers buyers more storage and a real estate investment. Dream was kept "car-centric;" Flex garages will be opened up to other hobbyists. But it's still sure to attract car enthusiasts, and with a lift, each unit can hold three cars.

A rendering of the site map for Luxe Flex Garage, which owners anticipate to open in two years.
Courtesy image

Astore could name every make and model of car by the time he was 10 years old, which he says was many decades ago. By 15, he’d saved enough money from delivering newspapers to buy a 1968 Opel Kadett Rallye.

“I wish I had it today,” he says. “I paid $400, which was a lot of money back then.”

By 23, he’d already opened a classic car dealership. Having grown up in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., his dream was to make his mark on the National Mall.

“My vision of life for me at that time was to build a really good reputation, and then eventually be able to influence those of importance on the hill and build a car museum on the mall,” Astore says. “The car is one of the most influential things in building this country.”

After five years, Astore decided his passion for cars wasn’t enough to keep him in the business of cars. He describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur.” He’s an architect by means of education, but that too was more of a love than a career.

With Luxe, Astore’s passion for cars, building and real estate have collided. He’s a partner, but he’s also the typical owner at the garage. His Sundays are spent working on cars. His latest paramour is a cinnamon red 1977 Vega GT hatchback named Lucy.

“She’s named after Lucille Ball because she is hot and spicy and always gets in trouble,” Astore says. “She’s sitting with 465 horsepower Dyno tested to the rear wheels.”

A Dyno test determines horsepower by measuring the engine’s revolutions per minute — but that’s something owners and prospective owners at Luxe would already know.

This article originally appeared on sister site YourObserver.com.

 

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