U-Haul Self-Storage: Acquisition and Development Activity Spring 2018

Update 5/15/18 – U-Haul plans to convert a vacant Kmart store in Alton, Ill., to self-storage. The company opened a temporary showroom at 2851 Homer Adams Parkway last week that offers moving and packing supplies, and trailer and truck rentals. U-Haul is currently leasing the building, but plans to purchase the entire shopping plaza. The deal is expected to close in August, according to Jeff Lockridge, manager of media and public relations for U-Haul.

Seminary Plaza comprises 146,840 square feet of space, which includes the 85,000-square-foot Kmart on the east side. A Schnucks grocery store anchors the west end of the strip mall. The grocer and another tenant, Rent-A-Center, will remain open, according to the source.

Plans for the 1980s structure include installing 700 interior climate-controlled storage units. The facility will also offer professional hitch installation, propane sales and a re-use center.

5/10/18 – U-Haul presented plans for its Lake in the Hills conversion to village trustees on Tuesday. The former Dominick’s Pharmacy could be leased to a retail company, while the nearby suites will be used for self-storage and a company showroom, according to the source.

“We have a solid tenant who is interested, and if that falls through for some reason, we would still market it as available,” said Heather Skelton, who represented U-Haul during the meeting. “We do not have a signed lease agreement, but it’s a pretty solid lead we have.”

The three tenants currently occupying the suites on the south side of the building would be displaced so U-Haul could add a retail showroom and 60 indoor climate-controlled units. The parking area would be used for rental trucks. The project would require a zoning change to accommodate the storage units and vehicle parking, the source reported.

U-Haul also plans to make changes to the building on Randall Road, and offer space to the displaced tenants. “Our intent is maybe to split the two suites and then move the three units completely over, but we’d work that out with them and have been in touch with all three,” Skelton said, adding that space for the retailers is also available in Crystal Lake and West Dundee, Ill. “We are not just going to evict them.”

The trustees were pleased with U-Haul’s vision for the site. “I’m excited for the use of it not going to be a storage facility but used for retail,” said trustee Bob Huckins. “The fact that they purchased it and are willing to work with us is exciting.”

U-Haul will next present its plan to the planning and zoning commission.

5/8/18 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 recently acquired several properties it will convert to self-storage. It’s also working on current conversion projects and expanding two existing locations.

U-Haul purchased the Centre at Lake in the Hills shopping center in Lake in the Hills, Ill., with the intent to convert a portion of the nearly 100,000-square-foot building. The property at the corner of Algonquin and Randall Roads was acquired for $5.05 million in an online auction in March, according to a source. It’s currently 17 percent occupied by various retail companies.

U-Haul representatives recently met with village staff to discuss plans for the complex, which includes the former Dominick’s Pharmacy. “We are having positive discussions. We have a couple of retailers that we know that are highly interested in partnering with U-Haul to utilize the property,” said Jen Clough, village administrator. U-Haul was scheduled to present its plans to the village board today.

A former Fred Meyer grocery store in Palmer, Alaska, will also become a U-Haul facility. The company was awarded the winning bid for the vacant property at 650 N. Cobb St. The deal is expected to close in the next month, according to John Norris, president of the U-Haul Co. of Alaska. “We are working closely with city officials and our neighbors in Palmer to make this a reality,” he said. The facility will open with a temporary showroom in June.

U-Haul is also transforming a former Kmart retail store in Yakima, Wash., to self-storage. The property at 2304 E. Nob Hill Blvd. has been vacant for more than a year, according to a source. U-Haul Moving & Storage at East Nob Hill offers moving and packing supplies, towing equipment, truck and trailer rentals, and U-Box containers. Once renovated, the 116,702-square-foot building will contain 1,000 indoor, climate-controlled units. Propane, hitch installation and vehicle storage will be added later to the 11.54-acre property.

The former Atlantic Express Corp. headquarters in Staten Island, N.Y., is also being repurposed to self-storage. U-Haul Moving & Storage of Port Richmond opened a temporary showroom at 2111 Richmond Terrace, which includes several smaller buildings that once housed auto-body shops. U-Haul filed a permit to demolish some buildings on the 9.36-acre parcel and construct a new seven-story structure. “Atlantic Express had built a newer building, so we will keep that,” said Will Wolff, marketing company president for U-Haul.

Once complete, the business will offer storage, moving and packing supplies, trailer and truck rentals, and U-Box containers. The facility has yet to be designed, but is expected to open in early 2020.

U-Haul also acquired the former May’s Drug Warehouse at 1410 E. 7th St. in Joplin, Mo., with plans to expand its existing facility at 2521 E. 7th St., about a half-mile east. Once renovations are complete on the 44,682-square-foot warehouse, it’ll offer 368 climate-controlled and drive-up units. U-Haul also plans to build a warehouse on the site to house 142 U-Box portable-storage containers, and will allocate parking for 20 large trucks.

“This building had been vacant for more than 10 years and was being used as a dumping ground,” said Aaron Self, president of the U-Haul Co. of Missouri. “We are eager to put our adaptive reuse program to use in Joplin because we can preserve the history of May’s Drug Warehouse while beautifying the area and providing a much-needed service to our neighbors.”

U-Haul recently added self-storage to an existing 2.11-acre property in Waco, Texas. U-Haul Moving & Storage at 200 Texas Central Parkway opened in 1995, and offers moving and packing supplies, and truck and trailer rentals. Construction began in 2016 and took 18 months to complete, according to a press release. The property now comprises 16,023 square feet of storage space in 372 climate-controlled units. It also includes a warehouse to store 100 U-Box containers.

The company hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 18 that included property tours, giveaways and refreshments. “This will be our first climate-controlled self-storage facility in Waco as we look to invest more into this growing community,” said Matthew McMillan, president of the U-Haul Co. of North Austin.

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 to Showcase Company's Newest Self-Storage Facility in Waco
SI Live, New U-Haul Self-Storage Facility Coming to Staten Island
PR Newswire, Adaptive Reuse: U-Haul Repurposing Vacant Kmart for Self-Storage in Yakima
Northwest Herald, U-Haul Buys Former Dominick’s Site, Shopping Center in Lake in the Hills for $5 Million
KTUU, Following Debate, U-Haul, Not Shooting Range, Will Buy Old Palmer Fred Meyer Building
Markets Insider, Growing Joplin: U-Haul Adding New Self-Storage, Jobs with Warehouse Acquisition
Northwest Herald, Lake in the Hills U-Haul Plans to Leave Dominick's Space Open for Retail
The Telegraph, U-Haul Opens at Old Alton Kmart, Will Expand After Buying Seminary Plaza

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