U-Haul might be best known as one of the go-to options when you need a truck or trailer to help you move, but the company also has an array of locations that can hold your belongings if the wait on your new location is a little longer than expected.
The company’s self-storage business has become so popular throughout the country, in fact, that it has pushed the company’s projects team, including Andrew Lasich, project director and structural engineer, to come up with some creative solutions for new storage sites.
In accordance with the company’s corporate sustainability initiatives, U-Haul’s projects team has been taking over and retrofitting existing spaces for self-storage in various cities this year. The effort is not only increasing the company’s storage footprint but also supporting its pursuit of infill developments to help local communities lower their carbon footprints. The adaptive reuse of existing structures reduces the amount of energy and material required to complete each project and helps cities reduce their unwanted inventory of unused buildings.
Three of U-Haul’s most recent reuse projects are highlighted here.
U-Haul Moving & Storage of Superior, built into a former Kmart, celebrated its grand opening on September 21, 2018, after opening in a limited capacity six months earlier. Following the limited opening, crews began work on cleanup and renovations to the building, resulting in a 88,914-square-foot facility with more than 700 self-storage units. The site now offers remote 24-7 access, high-tech security, two covered load-unload areas, and a U-Haul Re-Use center, for sharing boxes and gently used household items.
“This building was becoming an eyesore,” said James Hall, U-Haul’s general manager, in a statement. “It sat vacant for several years in the middle of this community. We are excited to breathe life back into it.”
Kevin Sybrant, U-Haul Company of Northern Minnesota’s president, said in a statement that the infill development is not only helpful to the community from an environmental standpoint but also a practical one. “The Twin Ports have been vastly underserved,” he said. “Customers were having to drive miles up the hill to get our services and self-storage. Now we’re bringing convenience to this community.”
In May of 2018, U-Haul acquired a particularly valuable piece of existing real estate: a 134,661-square-foot building just two miles from the University of Georgia. As of press time, the company had already set up a temporary showroom in it and was providing trucks and trailers, towing equipment, moving supplies, and portable moving and storage containers for students and local residents.
Adaptive reuse of the existing property will also yield indoor self-storage units, including climate-controlled rooms with high-tech security features. By repurposing the building, U-Haul will prevent the use and transportation of 1,230 tons of metal and 8,467 tons of new concrete. The project will also keep 9,865 tons of building and demolition debris out of landfills and stop 8,350,206 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
“We’re still in the planning phases with this project and are working closely with city officials and our neighbors,” said Rod Tape, U-Haul Company of Georgia Northeast’s president, in a statement. “We’re working with the University of Georgia to deploy smart technologies. Advancements in mobility are important to us. Athens is a booming college town, and we are excited to bring our program here.”
When it came to finding a site for self-storage facility in central Iowa, Coke was it.
After recently acquiring a 69,600-square-foot warehouse that last housed a Coca-Cola Bottling Company distribution plant, U-Haul began one of its latest repurposing projects, which will ultimately yield nearly 900 indoor self-storage units with high-tech security features.
“Rather than build from the ground up, we are pleased to be repurposing an existing facility to benefit the city,” said Randy Dickson, U-Haul Company of Iowa’s president, in a statement. “This project meets our sustainability initiatives and will help diminish our carbon footprint. We are looking forward to being part of this community for years to come.”
Dickson will maintain a staff of 10 team members when the facility is fully operational. The company says it will also look to hire locally to promote job growth within the Waukee community.
Congratulations to Andrew Lasich on this well-deserved honor. Hudson River Contracting Corp. values our relationship with Amerco Real Estate Company and we thank Andrew for sharing his talents with our firm along with the opportunity to share our mission in providing the highest level of quality and professionalism. Visit www.hrccny.com.