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U-Haul Opens Self-Storage Conversion Project on Hawaii's Big Island

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Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc. is converting a former business center into a self-storage facility on the Big Island, Hawaii. U-Haul Moving at Kailua-Kona at 74-5484 Kaiwi St. in the Old Industrial Park officially opened last month. The facility currently offers truck and trailer rentals, towing equipment, moving and packing supplies, and U-Box portable-storage containers. In the coming weeks, it will add hitch installation as well as 164 climate-controlled storage units, according to a company press release.

"We're one of only two locations in Kona that will offer climate-controlled storage," said Kaleo Alau, president of the U-Haul Co. of Hawaii. "From everyone we've talked to, this is a big deal. People have to drive miles and miles to find climate-controlled storage."

U-Haul purchased the former five-building Gold Coast Business Centers a year ago. Multiple bars, restaurants, retailers and other tenants will share the property with U-Haul, the release stated. The primary building was last occupied by a coat-upholstery shop and a mechanic business.

"We have two U-Haul store locations on Oahu, and we're excited to be able to offer our products and services on the Big Island at our new Kailua-Kona location," said Doug McIntier, area-district vice president.

The conversion is a huge undertaking for the company because each piece of U-Haul equipment has to be shipped from the mainland to Oahu by barge again to its destination on the other island, the release stated. U-Haul currently offers 246 box trucks, pickup trucks and cargo vans across the state, but hopes to reach 400 or more, McIntier said. The company operates 28 storage properties in Hawaii.

The opening of the Kailua-Kona property was driven by U-Haul’s corporate sustainability initiatives, which support infill development to help local communities lower their carbon footprint, according to the release. U-Haul’s adaptive reuse of existing structures eliminates the amount of energy and resources required for new-construction materials and helps local cities diminish their unwanted inventory of unused buildings, U-Haul officials said.

Established in 1945, U-Haul has more than 44 million square feet of storage space at more than 1,200 owned facilities throughout North America.

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