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If you own an empty warehouse, you have two major options. You can sell it for an immediate profit, or you can use this empty warehouse space to make money every month. If you consider yourself to be a bit of an entrepreneur, you’ll want to use this space as a source of continuous income.
Renting empty warehouse space to another company is perhaps the most solid source of monthly income. You can rent or lease it out in the form of office space or as a rental for events and entertainment. Or, you can build your own business by creating a sporting, fitness, or storage unit facility.
Though your options with your empty space are practically limitless, you want to pinpoint a certain plan that you can feasibly pursue. So, let’s go over how to how to make money with an empty building.
Converting your warehouse to office space can be a little pricey, but it’s a great investment if you’re looking for a consistent source of monthly income. It’s even better if your building already has an interior office set up.
The conversion process might involve setting up cubicles, “finishing” portions of your warehouse, and even including some necessary office equipment. Having more to offer in this office space can help you to bump up prices.
The amount of income you’ll bring in from your warehouse turned office space will depend on how much office space you actually have to offer. This rate is usually based on the square footage available. The more space you have, the more you can reasonably charge.
In America, it’s not unusual to charge between $2 and $6 per square foot, per month. That means you can bring in an impressive $24,000 or more on an annual basis by charging a bare minimum of 1,000 square feet of office space in America.
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If you’re lucky, your empty building is quite spacious and large. This is the perfect location to set up an event or entertainment center or venue. You can then rent out this facility to local musicians, organizations, and sports teams to supplement your income.
You will have to put in a good chunk of change into this conversion to bump up the rates you charge. Very few acts or organizations are looking to rent out a bare-bones place with dim lighting and no color.
So, think about the types of events you’d like to host. For example, it’s a good idea to provide seating or tables if you want to use your space as a mini-concert venue or banquet hall. You also need to add bathroom facilities for your guests.
Just how much income you make depends on how high-end of a venue this ends up being. You might be able to charge more than $100 dollars an hour for rental. This can bring in a cool $52,000 if you rent it out for a mere 10 hours a week.
If you live in a busy or congested area, your warehouse might just be the perfect solution for local business people. That’s because you can convert your warehouse or (even just use the parking lot) to sell or rent out parking spaces.
There is a little extra work involved in this type of business. You’ll have to set-up a system to guarantee that only those with parking passes and permits are actually parking on your property. This would be a good time to invest in an automatic gate outside of your warehouse.
Since the average American spends over 17 hours a year looking for a parking spot, there’s definitely a market for this type of service. That’s especially the case if your warehouse is in a high-population area like a city or a downtown area.
You might be able to charge thousands of dollars per year on each spot that you rent out. For 100 spots at $1,000 each, you can bring in an extra $100,000 a year. In less desirable locations, you’ll want to set a much lower fee.
Some companies and individuals out there are in quite the pickle. They need an area to perform their duties and responsibilities. Yet, they can’t afford to buy a warehouse outright with their current financial situation.
That’s where your warehouse comes in. Renting out space is an extremely lucrative business plan. Plus, you can develop a lease that requires your tenants to pay all the fees and operating costs that come with running the warehouse. That’s less you have to take out of your paycheck.
On average, you’re looking at about $0.85 per square foot on a monthly basis. That means you can boost your income by over $4,000 a month if you own a 5,000 square foot warehouse. This averages out to about $51,000 a year in additional income. Larger warehouses equal more income.
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Today nearly everyone has some sort of party or event to attend at least once every year. People are always looking for affordable and exciting venues on which they can host their parties. Your old warehouse could be transformed into the perfect party venue, even if it’s no longer in use for its original purpose.
You might need to invest in a bit of furniture, toilets and maybe even a temporary bar but this is well worth it because you can earn your money back quickly.
Another way of utilizing your warehouse is by renting it out as a film location. If you manage to find the right location scout agent, you could be in business very quickly.
You could also rent out your warehouse to a theater troupe or dance company at a healthy profit. They could use your building for many purposes such as storage, set construction, costume storage, and event venue.
Most warehouses have large storage areas, which can be used to store all kinds of construction materials.
This would be beneficial for both buildings because you have a lower overhead than many building companies and DIY homeowners who need construction materials. As a result, you could offer discounted prices because you have a lower overhead than most retailing zoned properties.
A profitable segment of this market is recycled and salvageable building materials. These would be leftover items such as windows, cabinets, and tile from more extensive construction projects or vintage and antique decorative items such as fireplaces and decorative doors.
Many cities are beginning to enact strict recycling ordinances, which means there is a demand for recycling businesses. Your old warehouse could be the perfect space to recycle items such as paper, plastic, aluminum, copper, and tin cans – or computer componentry.
An artists’ community would be profitable because you could rent out studio spaces cheaply to artists plus create a location to host art exhibitions.
With the current surge of interest in indie and self-published literature, you could also rent out rooms as writer’s studios or host book launch events and author readings for local independent publishers.
If you’re so attached to your warehouse space that you don’t want to let it go, it might be time to convert it to a sporting or fitness facility. This gives you the chance to keep the warehouse in your name while also becoming a local business owner.
You can use your space for just about any type of facility. Maybe you want to create an indoor paintball arena, go-kart track, or even just an indoor turf field for soccer or football. Or, you can rent out tennis or basketball courts by the hour. If you create your own gym, you can set a monthly fee for all members.
Here’s a look at what you can charge for each of these services:
Remember, owning a business means it’s your responsibility to buy, repair, and replace the appropriate equipment. It might also be a good idea to rent out these facilities for events for a little extra income.
Another way to keep the warehouse, yet profit off of it, is by creating your own self-storage unit facility. All it takes is creating individual units within your warehouse that are of various sizes that you can rent out to the public.
The pricing will vary depending on the size of the unit, but you can charge between $60 and $180 a month for a regular storage unit. Even if you’re only selling out of 100 units, this can bring in between $6,000 and $18,000 a month.
That ends up coming out to between $72,000 and an impressive $216,000 a year. If you really want to bump up those prices, you can create climate-controlled storage units instead. This can bring in an extra $15 to $45 a month per unit, per month.
If your warehouse is large enough and outfitted with an expansive parking lot and location near a busy street then it would be the perfect place to store landscaping equipment. Offering discounted rental rates for lawnmowers, blowers, hedge cutters, etc.
In the space of your warehouse, you could host a flea market for people to sell their used stuff. If it’s near a busier road then you might also be able to get permission from the city to open up a farmers market or craft fair. In some states, there are special zoning rules and even funding grants to support these farmers’ markets and community farmers.
There are hundreds of successful private shopping malls in America. Stores like Costco, Walmart, and Bass Pro Shops now host clothing stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations within their buildings.
Go ahead and use the same concept to lease to a variety of store owners to create your own shopping mall.
If your warehouse is sound and large enough then you could use it as a dance studio. Local dance academies or recreational organizations would jump at the chance to rent out space since it doesn’t take much to convert the floor into a practice area, there’s ample parking for parents, and most children would love coming to such an unusual location.
If your warehouse is open enough then you could use it for fitness classes or as a personal training center. You can even lease out exercise equipment and offer fitness programs if you’re not able to afford the overhead of purchasing all the equipment.
In many states, there are strict regulations to open a gun store and even stricter regulations to open up an indoor shooting range. However, if your warehouse is safe enough then you could create one of the most profitable ventures by renting out space for a shooting range!
If your warehouse is spacious and open enough then you could host pay-per-use customers or sell memberships to customers who would like an indoor driving range and golf lessons.
People in the area might even be able to walk in during off-hours if they want a quick lesson before work.
If your warehouse is located in the outskirts of town or away from residential areas then you could use it as a brewery. Spend the weekends hosting tap nights, beer festivals, and special sampling events.
You could even partner with local restaurants to offer your beers on tap!
Depending on the size of your building there might be enough room to convert the warehouse into a movie theater. Some movies are already being played in indoor “drive-in” theaters so anything is possible if you have enough space and the right equipment.
If you live near an area with little available schooling or if your warehouse is big enough, then you could turn it into a school. Most states will require you to hire certified teachers, pass inspections, and make sure your curriculum is up-to-date but this is worth it if you can charge the parents of local children enough money for tuition.
Alternatively, you could create nontraditional types of school such as a homeschooling center for local parents, a cooking school, a sewing studio, or a construction trade training center.
If your warehouse has high ceilings, is open enough, and you’re able to negotiate a low selling price with the property owner then you could turn it into an exhibition center. You could host trade shows, craft fairs, and even boat or auto shows in your empty building.
If you feel like making some extra money then you could convert your warehouse into a camping resort – just like glamping and only without the luxury! Families and groups of friends might host parties and stay overnight in tents, RVs, or even large indoor sleeping bags.
Indoor escape rooms are popping up in major cities around the world. The idea is fairly simple: you pay to enter an empty warehouse where your group is locked inside and solve puzzles, find hidden objects, and do other activities until you can “escape.” You could offer this same experience for customers by advertising that you have the room set up in your warehouse.
If you have the right size and building then you could open an indoor MMA or boxing gym! You can even charge a membership fee to customers who would like to attend classes on certain days of the week.
You could also charge hourly rates for customers who want private lessons during off-hours.
If you’re looking to help your local community then you could open up an indoor space for kids to have after-school activities! Research community grants, local organizations, and businesses for funding and support.
You could even host adult classes during the day.
Do you live near a college or university? Then you could let students use your empty building as storage. They’ll often need extra storage during the summer months when they’re not attending classes and this is a good way to make money while helping them out.
If you have plenty of space in your warehouse then you could turn it into an indoor dodgeball center. You could charge a membership fee or sell tickets to individual games for adults or kids alike.
If you’re looking to make some extra money with your empty buildings then turn one into an indoor, all-weather dog park! You could set up a small area with large, fake fire hydrants and local dogs would have a place to run around during the day.
Just make sure your local town or city has approved dog parks before you start advertising this opportunity.
Add services to boost your profits such as doggie day care or breed dogs for sale.
This one isn’t too difficult to set up either if you have the space. Charge a daily or hourly rate to customers and they can run around in your indoor paintball center! Set up some obstacles such as cardboard boxes, tables, and old couches.
You could even provide military-issued helmets for those who don’t have their own mask or want to purchase one from you. Offer an area where people can buy their own paintballs.
Other types of competitive games such as laser tag and touch football could be played in your empty warehouse.
Turn your warehouse into a hydroponic plant-growing center – an indoor farm! Popular crops include microgreens, mushrooms, hemp, and medical marijuana. Include a section where DIY hydroponic growers customers can buy seeds, supplies, and specialized equipment to grow herbs, greens, and vegetables in their homes.
If you have enough space in your warehouse then you could turn it into an indoor fabric store, since fabric vendors need large open areas to cut yardage. You can sell plastic or wooden weaving looms, sewing machines, needles, and fabrics to craft projects. Plus you could offer classes, hold craft shows, and do sewing competitions.
Art museums are typically held in large, old buildings with high ceilings. If you have the space then you could offer an indoor art museum! You can charge a donation fee or ticket price to visitors who want to see the collection.
Or try the latest thing in art museums – immersive experiences like the popular NYC Van Gogh exhibit here By using a large open space the art is projected onto the walls and while visitors experience a audio tour and music light show.
People are fascinated with things that are sad, strange, weird, and bizarre. You could start an indoor “museum of oddities” in your warehouse where you display (and sell) all sorts of unusual items like giant dolls (both mechanical and plush), doll heads (with real hair!), prosthetic limbs, paintings on eyeballs, taxidermy, and Victorian furniture.
You could even display shrunken heads!
If you want to attract Halloween fans then turn your warehouse into an indoor haunted house. You can charge a ticket fee or ask for donations when customers come in. Have actors pretend to be ghosts, ghouls, witches, monsters, and other scary creatures that will scare the living daylights out of visitors!
If you have plenty of space in your warehouse then turn it into an indoor skatepark for skaters, bikers, rollerblade, and scooter riders. You could charge a daily or hourly fee to customers who want to go skating and offer areas where people can buy and sell used equipment.
If you have the space then consider opening up a go-cart track in your warehouse. You could offer different tracks for adult and kids’ go-carts alike or charge people to ride around in their own carts.
You can charge a daily or hourly fee to customers who want to drive around your track!
If you have tons of space in your warehouse then you could turn it into an indoor, high-tech flying machine arena! You could charge spectators who want to buy tickets in order to watch races being held between drones.
Also you could open a RC remote control race track.
Treehouses are fun, whimsical places for people of all ages. If you have enough space in your warehouse then consider transforming it into an indoor treehouse village! You could charge customers to go inside the various treehouses, offer treehouse classes to build your own treehouse, or just visit the different treehouses.
If you have plenty of space in your warehouse then consider making it into an indoor fish tank! If done right, people would enjoy visiting the local fish store – especially if no one has ever seen anything like it!
You could even get into the fish breeding business – for example, you can breed freshwater or saltwater fish that are expensive to buy. You can sell them or offer them for sale at your aquarium!
If space allows then consider creating an indoor “zoo” in your warehouse. Display different types of fascinating small animals like birds, lizards, ferrets, etc.
You can charge a daily or hourly fee to customers who want to visit your animals. Seriously consider offering some of your animals for sale to take home as cherished pets.
If you have the appropriate size and layout then you could open up an indoor rock climbing gym! Customers could purchase daily or monthly memberships and enjoy the sport in your facility.
If you’re a fan of antique and estate sale items then consider turning your warehouse into an indoor “estate sale furniture store.” You could display different pieces of odd, unusual furniture that have been previously used in all sorts of situations (kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, etc.).
If you want to attract customers and boost your sales then offer home decorating tips and tricks in order to help people freshen up their houses!
This can be a highly profitable business. A friend of mine has a store in the exclusive area of the Hamptons in New York and buys used furniture and marks it up 300%+ and sells it!
If your warehouse is big enough then you could open up a co-working space where people can rent out office spaces on an hourly or daily basis. This way you earn the extra income from renting out your space – plus, it’s a win-win situation for all because you’re able to help emerging startups, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who are just starting out!
Offer different packages to your customers – for example, they could rent a space for the whole week at a certain price or come in every day from 9 am – 5 pm.
Consider leasing out your warehouse to a church or other religious organization for an annual fee. This can be a steady source of income for you and it allows the church to utilize your empty space on a regular basis.
This way, they can use it for their sermons and activities while you are earning a profit and doing good for the community too!
If you have the appropriate layout then consider transforming your warehouse into a place where companies can store their heavy machinery and equipment. For example, companies that manufacture photocopiers, machines for making tire rims, etc. would need a garage to house these items!
You could offer special packages to customers depending on how long they want their machinery to be stored in your warehouse.
If you can convert your space into an open loft-style office, then consider leasing it out to a startup business incubator program.
Check with local schools and colleges to find out if they have these programs in place!
Offer different packages for the startups – for example, rents them desks or offices on an hourly or daily basis. You could also offer them the use of conference rooms, whiteboards, and any other general office equipment that you have.
Ask around to see if there is a need for space in your area. If you hear that someone is looking , then send them an email!
Consider opening up a seasonal decor storage center. This way, people can store their holiday decorations for as long as they want!
So, if you’re a fan of holiday decorating and putting up tons of Christmas trees and lights in your warehouse, then why not use your space to earn extra income!
Contact local home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot to partner with you on the project. Work out an arrangement where they send customers directly to you to store their decorations.
Offer different packages – for example, you could charge monthly fees depending on how big the space is that customers are renting out to store their items.
Alternatively you could rent out your holiday decorations for a fee to businesses and families. Add additional services such as workshops and classes on how to properly hang Christmas lights and decorate for every holiday year-round!
If you have the capacity, consider leasing out your warehouse to retailers who need extra space for their excess inventory. For example, a home furnishing store would need room to store things like shelves and beds.
If you have the proper licensing then you could also rent your warehouses out to people who manufacture products or handcraft furniture! In this way, they can use your warehouse as their workshop while earning profits from the fees that they charge for using it.
Offer different packages – one-month storage is cheaper than six months of storage. Or offer hourly rates depending on how long the items are stored in your warehouse.
Get the right paperwork and licenses, and consider starting an import-export company.
This way you can use your place to store goods abroad that are coming into the country. These goods could be clothes from China or furniture from Italy!
Try connecting with a representative of a foreign company who specializes in importing products from overseas.
Contact local importers and exporters to find out how much they pay for renting a space of this type.
If you have the space, consider selling storage space for vehicles and motorcycles. This is especially helpful if your area sees a lot of hurricanes or snowstorms which could damage valuable automobiles.
The most profitable vehicles to store are exotic cars, classic cars, taxis, race cars, and specialty fleet trucks.
Contact local business owners and car enthusiasts to offer your storage space. They can pay you on an hourly basis or they can rent your warehouse space by the month.
If you’re an artist or know someone who is, consider turning your warehouse into an art exhibition center and art gallery.
Contact local artists and see if they’re interested in displaying their work in your gallery. You can charge an hourly fee or a membership fee to the artists who are displaying their work there.
You can also hold workshops and classes on art in your gallery. This is a great way to bring in additional income!
If you have the space, consider starting a welding and metal fabrication business. This could be especially useful if you’re located in an area that has a lot of factories and businesses.
The most profitable items to fabricate are metal staircases, handrails, fences, and gates.
You can contact local business owners and offer them a quote for the fabrication work that you do. You can also rent out your workshop by the hour to business owners who need to get some welding and metal fabrication work done.
You can offer your services to these businesses or you can lease out your warehouse to them on a monthly basis.
Contact local welders, metal fabricators, and steel shops to discuss the possibility of renting your warehouse.
If you have the space for large cargo storage, consider finding a business that ships goods by land, air or sea. These businesses typically hire out smaller warehouses to store their items in while they’re in transit.
Contact local cargo businesses to see if they’re interested in hiring your warehouse. You can charge them a flat fee or an hourly rate.
If you’re more of a water lover, consider offering indoor storage space for boats and RV campers. This way they don’t have to park their camper with all four wheels on the ground where it could sink into wet earth or mud!
Contact local boat owners, dealerships, and marinas to see if they’d be interested in renting out your building.
If know about cars, then consider opening up your own used car dealership. You can use your current space to store cars while they are being sold or have them sent out on the market.
You’ll need proper licensing before you go this route – which is done on a state level by contacting your Department of Motor Vehicles.
Contact local car dealerships and auto shops to see if they’d be interested in partnering up with you on your venture. Offer them a percentage if they send customers to your dealership.
Increase your sales by offering services such as car wash, wax and detail to make those cars shine!
Do you have a passion for books? Consider opening up your own used book store using your warehouse. You can offer to ship out global titles or just sell local favorites.
Contact the local library and places that buy back old textbooks to see if they are interested in doing business with you!
Use your building space to store an inventory of books. You can also use it as a place to host book signings and readings!
Also, consider selling used records and sheet music.
If you’re musically inclined, consider starting your own recording studio business in your warehouse. This way you can offer soundproofing, acoustic treatment, and a variety of services to musicians!
You’ll need some basic equipment like microphones, audio interfaces, and software. But you may be able to find some of this stuff at your local pawn shop.
Contact local bands and recording studios about your new business venture! Offer them a rate cheaper than the market so they’ll be more inclined to use your services.
If you’re a fashionista at heart, consider starting your own clothing production studio in your warehouse.
You’ll need some basic equipment like sewing machines, fabric cutters, and mannequins. But you may be able to find some of this stuff at your local thrift store.
Contact local fashion designers and boutiques to see if they’re in need of a production studio!
If you’re more of an artistic person, consider starting your own community theatre group. You can use your current location to help produce shows and host performances!
You’ll need some basic theatre equipment like lights, projectors, soundboards, and stage props. But you may be able to find some of this stuff at your local thrift store.
Contact your local theatre groups and schools to see if they’re interested in renting out parts of your warehouse for their productions!
If you’re more of a business person, consider renting out your building to a distribution firm. They may need somewhere to store and distribute their products – especially if they ship out globally!
You can offer them short or long-term leases depending on their needs. But be sure to do research about the types of products they ship so you know how to best prepare the space.
Contact local distribution firms about your space!
Do you have a truck and access to heavy machinery? Consider starting your own junk removal business using your current warehouse space as storage for old appliances, furniture, and other bulky items.
You’ll need some basic equipment like a truck, a trailer, and a forklift. But you may be able to find some of this stuff at your local pawn shop.
Contact local property management firms, construction companies, and real estate agents to see if they need someone to remove junk from their properties!
If you’re in a more rural area, consider leasing your warehouse location to a flower or fruit broker. They may need a place to store their products while they wait to be shipped out.
You can offer them a short or long-term lease depending on their needs. But be sure to do research about the types of products they store so you know how to best prepare the space.
If you can obtain the appropriate tools then consider opening up a pottery studio business in your warehouse.
You could offer pottery painting parties for children and adults. Pottery painting parties are a big hit in the U.S.
This can be particularly profitable on weekends because people like to spend their free time building up their creative muscles.
It’s a great idea to use your empty warehouse to make a little extra money. But, you need to do a little bit of research to be sure that you’re actually allowed to rent it out, lease it, or even make structural changes. Contact your local government officials to learn about the zoning requirements and what you can do. Also, be sure that you’re contacting a real estate lawyer to help you draft your lease agreements.
You can use an empty warehouse as a venue for concerts, performances, exhibitions, trade shows, flea markets, or other community events.
Plus, you could lease out space in your warehouse to small businesses. This would give them a place to store inventory or equipment, and it would also give you a steady stream of income.
Or you could use your warehouse to create a business that rents space to other businesses. This could include things like office space, storage space, co-working, or workshop training space. Check out these numerous money-making ideas to use an empty warehouse
Owning or running a warehouse building is profitable especially in crowded neighborhoods where rents and traffic costs are high. Empty warehouses offer a relatively inexpensive way for start-ups to grow without any initial startup expenses.
Warehouses tend to offer higher income, compared to residential real estate. The size of the property is bigger and there are more tenants in it which means that you will have an easier time making money with warehouses. They’re less costly than other investments like stock dividends or commercial office or retail properties. Warehouse investments profit margins can range anywhere between 5% all the way up 15%.
The best way to get more people renting space in your warehouse is through advertising. This includes everything from traditional print and television ads to short video advertisements on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. You can also create a website that promotes your warehouse business.
You can also get word-of-mouth advertising by providing excellent customer service. When customers have a good experience with your company, they’re likely to tell their friends and family about it. You can also offer incentives like discounts for referrals or free trial periods.
Finally, you can attend local business events and meet-ups to network with potential rental clients. You can find events that potential clients attend on websites like MeetUp.com, or through recommendations from real estate brokers, local business associations, and chambers of commerce.
Learn about more business ideas for vacant land on my list here.
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