Phoenix-based U-Haul International Inc., which operates more than 1,300 self-storage facilities across North America and frequently recycles existing structures for its new locations, has purchased the former Athens Plaza shopping center in Athens, Ga., with the intent to convert it to self-storage. The 13.27-acre property at 494 North Ave. is two miles from the University of Georgia, according to a press release.
U-Haul Moving & Storage of North Downtown Athens is currently operating from a temporary showroom, offering moving and packing supplies, towing equipment, trailer and truck rental, and U-Box portable-storage containers. Plans are underway to convert the 134,661-square-foot building into an indoor, climate-controlled facility. Propane sales and hitch installation will also be available.
“Many of the buildings in this part of town were left to become eyesores,” said Rod Tape, president of the U-Haul Co. of Georgia Northeast. “We're eager to be part of the revitalization of this neighborhood. We want to give the city a facility it will be proud of, and serve the residents here for years to come.”
U-Haul recently acquired several properties it will convert to self-storage. It’s also working on current conversion projects and expanding two existing locations.
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.
Markets Insider, Adaptive Reuse of Athens Plaza: U-Haul to Offer Self-Storage to UGA Students