The Weird and Wonderful Things I Saw at the Condo Expo

I went to the condo owners’ expo I told you about in my last post and it did not disappoint.  I’m like a kid in a candy store with this kind of thing to be sure, but there was some stuff I saw which might be of interest to anyone with a healthy sense of curiosity.

At the last expo they had a bronze “statue” who scared the bejeezus out of me when I walked past him and he reached for my hand.  He was the most realistic live statue I had ever seen and I honestly didn’t know he was a real man. I worried about how much time he spends at home in front of a mirror practicing his closed-eyed creepiness.  But it did stir up my child-like sense of wonder and I spent the rest of the day peeking around corners at him whenever I was in the area.

This year they had Mike the Magician who made a genuine miniature gold brick appear inside an empty matchbox.  The real entertainment for me was how anxiously Mike hovered over me when he put the gold brick in my hand to test the weight.  I wonder how many gold bricks poor Mike has lost handing them to fleet-footed strangers who disappeared into the crowd.

Here are some of the products and services I found which might appeal to building owners:

  • I found a company which specializes in turning almost any type of unused space in a rental building into something straight out of a Public Storage facility.  Not only does this add to the convenience of your building’s renters, but it also makes your units more attractive to prospective tenants and gives you another source of revenue.  You don’t even have to worry about the headache of managing the area.  City Storage LLC says they “build, install, lease, administer and totally maintain all storage units” at no cost to the owner.  The company says no job is too small and will install as little as one unit.  Since we’re talking about converting unused, wasted space, an “extra” check to the building owner for 25% of what the company collects is not a bad deal.  I would certainly go for it if it applied to my situation.

before and after pic for on-site tenant storage

Before and after pic for on-site tenant storage


on-site tenant storage

On-site tenant storage installed at no cost to owner


  • There was also a company which sells, leases and services coin-operated laundry machines called Speed Queen.  They offer credit card, smart card, cash and combo machines.  That’s nice but it’s pretty standard.  What I really liked is they offer machines which can send text alerts to the user when the laundry cycle is completed.  THAT is just about as sexy as coin-op laundry can get for me.  I’m slightly turned on right now.  I had never heard of that one.  They also offer a “Zero Cost Laundry Room Lease Program” where they pay commissions to owners for the privilege of setting up their machines in your space.


  • Particularly for those owners of vintage buildings or lovers of detailed accents, there was a company called Barker Metalcraft which custom crafts radiator covers, baseboard covers, and air conditioner covers.  Before you start yawning you should take a look at these options.  There’s some cute variety here (temple, mosaic, honeycomb, and octagon cane).  But the most important thing is all these designs take into account high levels of air circulation efficiency versus older more closed-in designs.


Stay tuned and I’ll tell you more about some of the cool things I saw.  You gotta hear about the puppies—sweet!!!  (I have not been paid for any endorsements.  It’s just cool stuff.)


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