Update 8/27/13 – National self-storage operator The U-Haul Co. has completed its conversion of the former Nabisco building in Detroit’s New Center district and recently opened the facility for business. Now called U-Haul Moving and Storage of New Center, the 250,000-square-foot historical structure is home to a multi-story storage facility, including 430 indoor climate-controlled units with covered drive-up loading and unloading docks.
Units on the building’s first level are individually alarmed with 24-hour electronic access. U-Box portable storage pods are also available at the facility.
As an adaptive-reuse initiative, the conversion project prevented the production of more than 82,000 tons of concrete and 83 tons of metal, and avoided nearly 600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions compared to new construction, U-Haul officials said. The company is collaborating with Wayne State University to study the social, economic and environmental effects of similar projects.
"My team worked night and day to complete this project, and we are proud of the New Center Detroit location and the impact it will have on our community," said David Ruff, president, U-Haul Company Detroit. "Many community members have gone out of their way to show their support for this project and have told me how much they enjoyed watching this building come back to life in the city."
The company will host a community celebration and grand-opening event at the facility toward the end of September.
8/17/12 – National self-storage operator The U-Haul Co. recently purchased a former Nabisco building in Detroit’s New Center district, with plans to convert it into a self-storage facility. The 250,000-square-foot historical structure was built in 1920 as a bakery but will soon be home to a seven-story storage facility offering 930 indoor, single-story units comprising more than 62,790 square feet of storage space. The conversion is expected to be complete sometime next year.
"U-Haul wants to give back to the great city of Detroit by expanding and investing in it," said Joe Shoen, chairman of U-Haul International Inc.
Dubbed the U-Haul Detroit Revitalization Project, the development is being featured on a special Web page, which will keep the community informed about its progress as well as share information about other community projects, events and developments.
"Our goal is to bring economic stability and foster community togetherness in the city through this revitalization project," Shoen said. "Our intention is to support the city and the growing community of Detroit. We know that it's the right thing to do."
Detroit was hit particularly hard by the recession and has continued to struggle with high municipal operating costs and declining population. The city’s deficit is in excess of $100 million.
Established in 1945, U-Haul has 36 million square feet of storage space at more than 1,000 owned and managed facilities throughout North America.