U-Haul to convert former Kmart into storage facility

A building that once housed a Kmart department store in Grand Junction will be converted into a self-storage facility with about 800 units.

U-Haul acquired the property at 2809 North Ave. in December. Once remodeling is complete, the more than 85,000 square-foot building will offer about 800 storage units with climate-controlled rooms and security features. Propane and professional hitch installations also will be offered on the 10.34-acre site.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler announced Amerco, the parent company of U-Haul, purchased the property for $2.1 million from a private operator out of the Midwest.

“This building is just two miles from downtown and Colorado Mesa University,” said Tavis Larson, president of U-Haul Company of West Central Colorado.  “We will have a full range of customers, from college students to retirees. This acquisition gives us the ability to serve Grand Junction more effectively and provide a better U-Haul customer experience with more products and services.”

Mark Williford, a director with the HFF team that marketed the property, said vacant retail box stores in good locations have attracted growing interest from retail and nonretail businesses. “The former Kmart provided an opportunity for U-Haul to expand its current presence in Grand Junction with a highly visible and well-trafficked location.”

Larson expects to maintain a staff of 15 or more when the facility is fully operational. U-Haul will look to hire within the Grand Valley and encourages local contractors to bid on construction work, he said.

“Grand Junction was recently named a top destination for retirees, and the neighborhoods here are continuously growing,” Larson said. “Our building has been here since 1972, and we are excited to preserve and improve it as an environmentally friendly company. We want to give the community a new self-moving and storage center it can be excited about.”

Larson said the acquisition of the Grand Junction facility also reflects a corporate sustainability initiative in which U-Haul supports infill developments, lowers the inventory of unused buildings and reuses existing buildings to reduce energy and resources required for new construction.

For now, U-Haul Moving & Storage at Lincoln Park  operates out of a temporary showroom and offers truck and trailer rentals, towing equipment, moving supplies and moving and storage containers.