Gary Wojtaszek, former CEO for CyrusOne, is purchasing R.V. storage facilities as part of his new business venture, Recreational Realty.
The startup is offering storage for leisure vehicles or as Wojaszek calls them, “toys”.
The company is currently buying R.V. storage facilities and is aiming to expand its portfolio into 75 different locations throughout Texas and Florida this year. Recreational Realty then upgrades the storage facilities with security systems, websites, and mobile apps to make it easier for customers to pay bills and communicate with the company.
In the long term, the company is looking to add other services, including car washing, dumping stations, repairs, and even retail stores for camping supplies.
Wojtaszek built a reputation in the data center industry after growing CyrusOne from a regional data center provider valued at $525 million into a global provider recently purchased by KKR and Global infrastructure partners for a record $15 billion.
As a board member of a multitude of digital infrastructure companies, his new project is something of a career curveball, one that was apparently inspired by the pandemic.
“There has been a broad secular trend of increasing demand for R.V.s and what's happened in the last two or three years with COVID is that has been just put on steroids,” Wojtaszek said.
After national lockdowns prevented international travel, Wojtaszek and his wife traveled the US in an Airstream Trailer. Once the adventure was over, they realized how challenging it was to find storage for it.
The former CyrusOne CEO purchased an R.V. Storage facility in Dallas, Texas, and reimagined it.
“We started making some capital improvements, automating things, and doing a lot of stuff that we had done at CyrusOne just to make it a little more professional. Then we just started scaling this and it really took off.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that since December, Recreational Realty has bought five RV storage facilities in the Houston area, and it is under contract to buy an additional three locations in The Woodlands area. Once those sites close, Recreational Realty expects to have 56 acres in the Houston area with about 1,700 storage units.
Recreational Realty could be turned into a publicly-traded real estate investment trust, Wojtaszek said, although the company hasn’t made any decisions yet around an exit plan.
Following stints at General Motors, Delphi, and Agere Systems, Wojtaszek joined Cincinnati Bell in 2008. He was then made CFO and subsequently President of CyrusOne, which was a subsidiary of the telco at the time.
CyrusOne then IPO'd in 2013. Wojtaszek stepped down as CEO in February 2020 "by mutual agreement with the Board" and saw a rotating cast of execs take over in his wake. Tesh Durvasula initially stepped in as interim CEO, before Bruce Duncan took on the role. Duncan then left just over a year later, with company cofounder and former CEO David Ferdman taking over as interim CEO. Ferdman remains interim CEO of the company.
Wojtaszek remains a board member for Chinese firm GDS Data Centers, Interprivate InfraTech Partners IV (a technology-focused SPAC), investment firm Poema Global, and US data center firm Quantum Loophole, Inc. According to LinkedIn, Wojtaszek formed RR in May 2020, a few months after leaving CyrusOne.