U-Haul Converts Former JCPenney and Kmart Stores to Self-Storage in 5 States

October 5, 2018

6 Min Read
U-Haul Converts Former JCPenney and Kmart Stores to Self-Storage in 5 States

Update 10/4/18 – A little more than a year after acquiring the former Kmart building in Muncie, Ind., U-Haul has opened a new 2,500-square-foot showroom. Once the conversion to self-storage is complete, U-Haul Moving & Storage of Morningside will also contain a covered loading area and 706 interior units, some of which will be climate-controlled.

The new facility will also remotely manage the 80-unit U-Haul Storage of Creston, which is about a half-mile away at 2211 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, according to a press release.

“We're expanding operations to be able to provide a better self-storage product and serve our customers at the level they've come to expect,” Jones said.

8/15/17 – U-Haul is also converting a former Kmart in Baltimore. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Eastpoint at 222 N. Point Blvd. has opened a temporary showroom offering truck and trailer rentals, moving supplies, and portable-storage containers. Hitch installation and propane sales will be available soon. The 11.25-acre property is near Dundalk, an unincorporated community of Baltimore County, Md.

Renovations for the 95,810-square-foot building are underway to add 60,000 square feet of indoor self-storage and 15,000 square feet of outdoor vehicle-storage parking. The storage units are expected to be available early next year, according to a source.

"I'm excited to bring top-of-the-line moving and self-storage services to this part of Baltimore," said Mike Finkelstein, president of the U-Haul Co. of Baltimore. "Dundalk was one of the first inner-ring suburbs of Baltimore, and this facility will finally service that community.”

The property is part of North Point Mall, which was purchased last year for $3.3 million by Carl Verstandig, CEO of real estate firm America's Realty LLC. Kmart vacated the property in late 2016.

"U-Haul is pleased to reuse older buildings because it benefits the community in so many ways," Finkelstein said. "This building was originally built in 1974. It was renovated in 1997, so it's in really good shape. We're going to make it even better."

8/10/17 – U-Haul completed its acquisition of the former Kmart in Muncie on Aug. 2. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Morningside has opened a temporary showroom while it builds out approximately 40,000 square feet of self-storage. The property at 1501 E. McGalliard Road also offers moving and packing supplies, towing equipment, trailer and truck rentals, and U-Box portable storage. The self-storage component will offer indoor climate-controlled and traditional drive-up units, with “high-tech” security features, according to a press release.

"This deteriorating building had been sitting empty for three years," said Anthony Jones, president of U-Haul Co. of Central Indiana. "People were using it as a dump site, so there were old tires and furniture everywhere. U-Haul is excited to take this neglected property and turn it into an attractive moving and self-storage facility."

The facility will also eventually offer propane tanks and refills and professional-hitch installation on the 9.89-acre lot.

"Mayor [Dennis] Tyler is happy to have us in there, bringing this building up to 2017 standards," Jones said. "It is important to U-Haul that we renovate these large existing buildings rather than start anew. We want to make sure we do things in a sustainable manner."

Once fully operational, U-Haul expects to employ a staff of at least 10 to run the facility.

7/31/17 – A U-Haul affiliate acquired a former Kmart store last month in Erie, Pa., which the self-storage operator plans to add to its portfolio of moving and storage centers. The company paid $2.225 million for the former retail outlet, which is one of two anchors in the East Grandview Plaza at 1320 E. Grandview Blvd. U-Haul has set up a temporary showroom offering moving supplies and equipment rentals, while construction on the storage conversion is on pace for completion in about two months, company spokesperson Andrea Batchelor told the source.

The Kmart closed in March. Get Air, an indoor trampoline park, is developing the other empty anchor space and will lease from Brooklyn, N.Y.-based J & D Acquisition LLC, which owns all the retail spaces within the plaza except for the U-Haul site, according to the source. The shopping center was built in the 1970s.

7/11/17 – Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc., which operates more than 1,300 self-storage locations across North America, is converting a JCPenney and two Kmart stores. The facilities are in Indiana, Washington and Wisconsin.

In Spokane Valley, Wash., the former JCPenney store at 10412 E. Sprague Ave. was turned into U-Haul Moving & Storage of U-City, which opened in June to offer moving and packing supplies, trailer and truck rentals, and U-Box portable-storage containers. Renovations are underway to add 835 climate-controlled units to the 108,766-square-foot building. Until they’re available next year, U-Haul plans to use its U-Box containers as temporary rentals. Professional hitch installation and propane sales will also be offered soon, according to a press release.

"This acquisition is all about customer convenience," said Manny Mendez, president of the U-Haul Co. of Inland Northwest. "Spokane Valley is a growing community. There aren't very many state-of-the-art self-storage facilities here. Our other [self-storage] facilities in the area are nearing [full] capacity, so we are happy to serve more customers."

A former Kmart store in Superior, Wis., is also being converted, while negotiations are underway to purchase a second Kmart big box in Muncie, Ind. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Superior recently opened a temporary showroom on the 6.22-acre property at 3015 Tower Ave. It currently offers truck and trailer rentals, moving and packing supplies, and U-Box portable-storage containers. Once the renovations are complete this fall, the 88,914-square-foot building will contain 737 climate-controlled units. Professional hitch installation will also be available.

"This building was sitting vacant, and we were able to step in to bring it back to life," said Bill Piette, president of the U-Haul Co. of Northern Minnesota. "By reusing the building, we save materials and can offer a fresh look to a deteriorating property from the 1980s. Our U-Haul adaptive reuse program enhances the entire community."

The Muncie site includes an 86,000-square-foot building. Although the property is listed for $1.1 million, the purchase price won’t be disclosed until the sale is final, according to Ed Conatser, the broker’s who’s overseeing the transaction.

Finding a new occupant for the property, which closed in 2014, has been challenging due to its inclusion on federal flood-plain maps, a source reported. It's not clear if the designation has been changed or if it’s been figured into U-Haul's plans.

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.


PR Newswire, U-Haul Moving & Storage of Morningside Opens New Showroom
PR Newswire, U-Haul of U-City Reveals Plans for Vacant Building in Spokane Valley
PR Newswire, Moving Makeover: U-Haul of Superior Fills Vacant Building
GoErie.com, U-Haul Opening at Erie's East Grandview Plaza
PR Newswire, U-Haul Reusing Former Kmart for New Store in Muncie
PR Newswire, U-Haul Reveals Plans to Expand Self-Storage Footprint in Baltimore
The Baltimore Sun, Dundalk Kmart to Close
The Star Press, Muncie's Former Kmart Might Have New Use


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