Mark Alexander, owner of The Annex, said despite a grand opening in Lake Martin’s offseason in 2019 and now COVID-19 in 2020, his business continues to grow.
“We opened the facility too late in the year,” he said. “We had a few things not go our way over the winter. We were up on our capacity but we lost some six-month rentals.”
His business plans called for 90 boat and 10 RV units. When the business opened in October, 40 units were ready for rent.
Alexander now offers a total of 80 units and is at 100% capacity on RV storage and around 60% capacity on boat storage.
“We have 20 more units we are going to build,” he said. “After we finish those we are going to put in climate control. I expect by this September we will be full.”
Alexander has spent a large portion of his life on Lake Martin and said boat storage has always been in short supply.
“Storage has always been an issue on Lake Martin,” he said. “There are some other boat storage facilities on the lake like StillWaters and others.”
Alexander said he chose the area on Highway 63 to build his business because it is within 2 miles of a large public boat ramp.
“That’s where one of the biggest public ramps is located,” he said. “There are two ramps there and that’s why I built it. It gives day-boaters a place close by to store their boats.”
A benefit Alexander offers boat owners beyond proximity to a public ramp is space.
“These units are 14-feet high at the door so they can back in with their tops and towers up,” he said. “They are 43-feet long so any boat that’s legal size on the lake can be stored here.”
Alexander said after he retired and sold his business in Montgomery he wanted to get back to the lake where he spent a lot of time in his younger years and give back to the community.
“I was raised on the lake and went to the Navy for 10 years,” he said. “I came back and worked I’ve been on this lake most of my life. After I retired I moved to the lake and wanted something to do. It’s growing up here.”
The facility also has a public pavilion that was built to host concerts, football watch parties and other group events.
“I wanted to do something for the community; that’s why I built the pavilion,” he said. “There’s not much up here for entertainment on this side of the lake.”
Alexander said crowd restrictions due to COVID-19 mandates by the state have put the brakes on concerts he planned for this spring.
“We have an event center that we cannot open right now with everything that is going on,” he said. “We would have already had four or five concerts. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
As soon as things start to open up again, we will schedule bands. It’s going to be a nice place when we finish with it.”
While the storage facility has canceled public events, he said traffic on the lake has increased.
“The weekends are crazy,” he said. “This last full week I saw more traffic on the lake during the weekdays and the weekends are wide open.”