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Local U-Haul up and running in former K-Mart building

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Chris Hall, General Manager of U-Haul Moving and Storage of Marshalltown, prepares to enter one of the company’s many rental trucks. U-Haul purchased the former K-Mart building and parking lot at 1720 S. Center St. earlier this year and opened its rental business shortly thereafter.

The general manager of one of Marshalltown’s newest businesses said sales have been good and are getting better.

Chris Hall, General Manager of U-Haul Moving and Storage of Marshalltown, said Central Iowans are becoming more aware the enterprise is open at the former K-Mart property and equipped with a large inventory of rental trucks, trailers, hitches and more.

Also available is 24-hour equipment drop off.

The store also sell packing materials propane and propane refills.

It is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1702 S. Center St.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Pictured are indoor, climate controlled U-Haul rental units. The Marshalltown store will have more than 700.

To the untrained eye, nearly all of the inventory is outside on the building’s mammoth parking lot.

That is correct for the short term.

However, Hall is excited knowing the building’s 98,174 square-feet space will be extremely busy once the more than 700 individual, climate-controlled storage units are installed.

“The storage facilities we maintain are clean, and are used for personal storage by residents, primarily when they move,” U-Haul Company of Iowa President Randy Dickson of Urbandale told the Marshalltown City Council earlier this year.

Dickson said the company estimates it will invest $2 million to renovate the former retail site into a state-of-the-art moving and storage facility. This development will allow U-Haul to better serve the moving and storage needs of the community.

Adaptive reuse of the property will render about 50,000 square feet of indoor self-storage, giving customers access to climate-controlled rooms with high-tech security features.

“We expect to have everything in place in spring 2020,” he said.

Dickson said the company estimates to have five to 10 employees, both full and part-time.

The location used to be home to a K-Mart department store which closed Sept. 3, 2017. The space has been vacant for about 18 months.

Numerous social media posts have congratulated U-Haul for purchasing the 7.2 acres for approximately $1.4 million.

Hall said improvements to the parking lot are continuing, as are plumbing repairs.

Dickson said similar U-Haul facilities in Davenport and Sioux City have been well received.

U-Haul also purchased a K-Mart building in Sioux City.

U-Haul’s reputation attracted Hall who is a U.S. Army veteran,

“I went on my fourth deployment overall but first to Iraq in October 2017 and returned one year later,” he said. “While there I met my girlfriend who is from Marshalltown. Once back I did an Interstate transfer from the California National Guard to the Iowa National Guard. My unit is out of Davenport.”

Hall and his girlfriend have purchased a home and reside here.

“I plan on reaching out to the local American Legion post, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iowa Veterans Home in the near future,” he said.

The veteran is eager to acquire a donated flagpole and flag for the U-Haul property.

For more information about the Marshalltown location, telephone is 641-752-9466 or visit https://www.uhaul.com/Locations/Truck-Rentals-near-Marshalltown-IA-50158/793081/.

U-Haul also rents equipment at Godfrey Motors, Inc. 3008 S. Center St.