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U-Haul Self-Storage: Acquisition and Development Activity Spring 2018
U-Haul owns more than 44 million square feet of storage space

May 8, 2018: 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.

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.