U-Haul Acquires 13 Kmart, Sears Stores for Self-Storage, Truck-Rental Conversions

Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc., which operates more than 1,500 self-storage facilities across North America, is in the process of acquiring 13 former Kmart and Sears retail locations it intends to convert to self-storage and truck-rental facilities. Through affiliate AMERCO Real Estate Co., the company will spend $62 million on 12 Kmart properties in 10 states and a single Sears store in Fairbanks, Alaska, according to the source.

The Kmart properties are:

  • 20777 Bear Valley Road, Apple Valley, Calif.
  • 2875 Santa Maria Way, Santa Maria, Calif.
  • 200 Irwin Ave., Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
  • 5909 E. State St., Rockford, Ill.
  • 3250 Clear Lake Road, Springfield, Ill.
  • 17850 Frazho Road, Roseville, Mich.
  • 1705 S. Main St., Roswell, N.M.
  • 308 Dix Ave., Queensbury, N.Y.
  • 996 W. View Park Drive, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 1805 E. Stone Drive, Kingsport, Tenn.
  • 4110 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane, Wash.
  • 1309 N. High St., Fort Atkinson, Wis.

The move is in line with U-Haul’s corporate “adaptive reuse” policy to repurpose vacant commercial buildings. The company has converted or is in the process of transforming several properties in multiple states, including several Kmarts and a former JCPenney store. It has nine other former Kmart projects in the works, the source reported.

It’s not clear if U-Haul will go after Sears properties with the same aggression. The retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in October and plans to sell 505 stores, according to “Fortune” magazine.

U-Haul parent company AMERCO continues to have a healthy outlook on self-storage, with CEO Joe Schoen characterizing the industry’s long-term prospects as “good,” during its third-quarter earnings call with financial analysts. “In self-storage, I continue to believe that a still-increasing number of new entrants into this market will result in some unpleasantness in some specific markets in the not-too-distant future,” Schoen said. “I’m not clairvoyant. I can’t tell you for a fact where, but all the signs are there.”

Established in 1945, U-Haul owns more than 32 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.

Sources:
SpareFoot Storage Beat, U-Haul Scoops Up 13 Kmart and Sears Stores for $62 Million
Fortune, Sears Survived Black Friday But Plans to Sell 505 Stores, Report Says

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