The moving and storage company said the first phase of renovations will create 231 storage units.
U-Haul announced Sept. 16 it will open a retail and self-storage facility in the LaVilla area after buying 1.12 acres at 141 N. Myrtle Ave. and 1285 Houston St.
U-Haul Co. of Florida paid $1.3 million Aug. 25. Records show it bought three parcels containing two brick buildings built in 1899 and 1909, totaling 36,719 conditioned square feet, from Richard Thomas McGill. The largest 0.62-acre parcel south of Houston Street is vacant.
The property is bordered to the west by North Myrtle Avenue, the east by Cleveland Street, south by West Forsyth Street and north by light industrial use.
U-Haul said the property was once home to the Western Union Telegraph Co., which it said built the nation’s first transcontinental telegraph line.
“Our goal is to maintain as much of the original character as we can during the renovation process. We are honored to clean up the property and preserve this piece of Jacksonville history. We know the community will love the finished product,” said Amanda Bauer, president of U-Haul Co. of Jacksonville, in the news release.
U-Haul Moving & Storage of LaVilla will offer indoor climate-controlled storage, truck and trailer sharing, towing equipment, moving supplies, U-Box portable storage containers and more.
The company said that the first phase of renovations will result in 231 self-storage units for rent with high-tech security features.
The McGill family has been acquiring the properties since 2002 and operated McGill's Custom Countertops Inc. at the location since the mid-'80s. McGill's relocated around the corner to 1259 W. Adams St.
Dukeman Custom Woodworking Inc. has leased space on the second-floors of both buildings for the past 22 years, with the current lease ending in about six months, owner Stan Dukeman said in August.
Bauer said U-Haul is working with the tenant and “they plan to remain during the renovation process.”
Bauer said she expects to hire 10 or more employees when the store is fully operational and that veterans receive preference in the hiring process. For information visit uhauljobs.com.
U-Haul said the acquisition was driven by its support of infill developments.
“The adaptive reuse of existing buildings reduces the amount of energy and resources required for new-building materials and helps cities reduce their unwanted inventory of unused buildings,” said the release.
U-Haul said that as an essential service provider, it has remained open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak while offering contactless programs and enhanced cleaning protocols, including added steps for sanitizing equipment between customer transactions.