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U-Haul Self-Storage: Acquisition and Development August 2016

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Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc., which operates more than 1,200 self-storage locations across North America, continues to acquire existing storage facilities as well as convert empty buildings to self-storage. The company recently announced the following transactions:

  • The conversion of a historic building in Alexandria, La., which housed a Holsum Bakery store for 61 years before it was abandoned in 2012. U-Haul Moving & Storage at 3400 S. MacArthur Drive will be operated remotely by the company’s store at MacArthur Drive, half a mile away. The 6.72-acre property features a 91,544-square-foot main building and four additional structures that U-Haul has yet to designate for use.
  • The conversion of a former McKay's Supermarket in Lexington Park, Md. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Lexington Park at 46075 Signature Lane opened a temporary showroom in February. Renovations are underway at the11-acre property to add more than 900 drive-up and indoor, climate-controlled units as well as 60,000 square feet of vehicle storage.
  • The conversion of a former Hi-Tech Energy Windows Ltd. building in Inkster, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Inkster Park opened June 27 at 1675 Inkster Blvd. Once the renovations are complete, the facility will offer 672 indoor, climate-controlled units.
  • The conversion of the former C. Cowles & Co. factory at 83 Water St. in New Haven, Conn. Plans continue to progress despite opposition from city staff. In July, the plan commission unanimously approved a site plan with conditions as well as a coastal-impact review for the project. The site includes a 176,350-square-foot vacant building. The city had hoped to find a residential-housing developer for the property, which is near the Wooster Square neighborhood.
  • The opening of U-Haul Moving & Storage of Pomona at 1315 E. 3rd St. in Pomona, Calif., which announced a temporary showroom in January. The 180,000-square-foot building was erected in 1945 and originally home to the Pomona Tile Manufacturing Co. U-Haul acquired the abandoned 8.1-acre property last year. "People are in desperate need of self-storage in Pomona," said Thomas Mitchell, president of the U-Haul Co. of San Bernardino. "Our U-Haul self-storage facilities are constantly full, and there is huge customer demand for more. When we are fully operational, we will serve this community with at least 1,000 indoor self-storage units."
  • The conversion of five single-story buildings just a half-mile from Odessa College in Odessa, Texas. U-Haul Moving & Storage of West Odessa at 1010 University opened its temporary showroom on June 13 and is offering 322 drive-up self-storage units. Once the renovations are complete next year, the facility will add another 99 climate-controlled units and 42 covered parking spaces.
  • The acquisition of a vacant and dilapidated former shopping center, Pittsfield Plaza in Pittsfield, Mass. The property on West Housatonic Street includes 101,200 square feet of space. A special permit from the Pittsfield Department of Community Development is required to convert the 13.8-acre parcel, which includes several hundred parking spaces. The plaza once housed a cinema, furniture store and other businesses.
  • The acquisition and renovation of a former Home Depot store in Phoenix. The company purchased the 8.25-acre property at 4240 W. Camelback Road in December. U-Haul Moving & Storage at West Camelback Road currently has temporary showroom. Plans to add interior self-storage units are underway. "We will be making improvements on this building for several years so it meets the expectations of our customers," said Jason Turcotte, president of the U-Haul Co. of Western Arizona. "We are planning to repair all of the existing building, upgrade the landscaping, add needed lighting, and reimage and paint the exterior."
  • The conversion of the 104-year-old W.T. Rawleigh Factory in Memphis, Tenn. U-Haul Moving & Storage of South Bluffs opened at 137 W. Illinois Ave. with a temporary showroom in November. Erected in 1912, the 125,921-square-foot building was vacant for 15 years before the acquisition. A completion date has yet to be determined. "We are moving slowly with construction in order to preserve as much of the original building as possible," said Carol George, president of the U-Haul Co. of Memphis. "Buildings like this were built well and should be reused if possible. It's worth the extra effort to restore these beautiful structures and put them to modern-day use."
  • The conversion of a former furniture store in Tulsa, Okla. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Midtown at 3500 S. Sheridan Road opened in February. Self-storage units will be added in phases over the next year. The 6.41-acre property was last home to Mathis Brothers Furniture Co. Once complete, the 164,000-square-foot building will offer more than 2,000 storage units. "This is going to be a huge facility," said Jim Smith, president of the U-Haul Co. of Tulsa. "We're moving our Tulsa marketing company office to this location by late summer. Through the promotion of local hiring, we hope to employ more than 40 part- and full-time team members here within the first five years."
  • The opening of the company’s first store in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Medicine Hat at 1901 Highway Ave. S.E. officially opened on April 28. The 8.36-acre property comprises five buildings totaling 41,569 square feet. Most of the square footage is split between the former Flint Energy Services Ltd. building, erected in 1974, and a 10,500-square-foot structure built in 2006. Once the transformation is complete, the facility will offer more than 300 indoor storage units, a 10,000-square-foot U-Box portable-storage warehouse and parking for vehicle storage. "The building sat empty for more than a year, so we are excited to be able to reuse an existing property," said Gordon Anderson, president of the U-Haul Co. of Southern Alberta. "It's located right on the Trans-Canada Highway, and sits along the boundary between Redcliff and Medicine Hat, giving us the opportunity to serve two important communities with one store."
  • The conversion of a former grocery store in in Saukville, Wis. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Port Washington opened at 835 E. Green Bay Ave. in June. The former Piggly Wiggly includes 3.82 acres of land. Once the renovations are complete, the facility will offer 611 interior storage units.
  • The acquisition of two former Cowboy Storage facilities in Stillwater, Okla. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Boomer Lake at 1000 W. Airport Road and U-Haul Storage of North Stillwater at 3802 N. Land Run Drive opened in January and offer 438 units between them. The North Stillwater location is operated remotely by the Boomer Lake store. Renovations are underway to add 45 covered vehicle storage spaces to the Stillwater property. "These locations are on the north side of town, close to Oklahoma State University," said Scott Brackin, president of the U-Haul Co. of Oklahoma City. "We didn't have good market penetration in this area before these acquisitions, and we have already brought our occupancy levels up to more than 90 percent."
  • The acquisition and renovation of Isaac's Storage facility in Springdale, Ark. The 2.43-acre property at 767 S. 40th St. is less than four miles from its parent store, U-Haul Moving & Storage of Springdale, which has been serving the community since 1994. The 38,548-square-foot facility offers 301 climate-controlled and drive-up storage units. “Our self-storage occupancy is close to 100 percent at the parent store,” Smith said. “We needed another facility, and this location is perfect because it allows us to conveniently serve Western Springdale in a way that we couldn’t before.”

Established in 1945, U-Haul owns more than 44 million square feet of storage space. The company’s corporate sustainability initiatives, which support infill development to help local communities lower their carbon footprint, has led to dozens of conversion projects in recent years.

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