Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc., which operates more than 1,500 self-storage facilities across North America and frequently recycles existing structures for its new locations, plans to convert a former Toys R Us store in Battle Creek, Mich., to self-storage. The proposal includes adding a showroom and interior storage units to the 46,700-square-foot building at 5740 Beckley Road. The company will also build three new structures on the property, according to the source.
“We think we have a really good space for our business model,” said Jon Gilmore, president of the U-Haul Co. of Western Michigan. “We're really excited to get in there and spend about $5 million on this development to clean up this site.”
The Battle Creek City Commission introduced an ordinance during its Aug. 14 meeting to rezone the property, enabling the project to move forward. Commission members will take a final vote on Tuesday. An action summary from planning manager Christine Zuzga states the rezoning would allow for “productive use of the property that contributes to the tax base” and wouldn’t require any investment from the city.
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.
Battle Creek Enquirer, U-Haul to Revamp Former Toys "R" Us Building for Moving and Self-Storage Facility