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U-Haul buys former Kmart property

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U-Haul International plans to open a self-storage and truck-and-trailer rental business at the former Kmart store location on South Main Street, according to the president of a marketing company associated with the corporation. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The U-Haul International has purchased the former Kmart store building on South Main Street with plans of opening a storage and rental business.

“Right now, we are just owning the property so that in the future we can have a second location,” said Bianca Herrera, president of the marketing U-Haul Company of Southern New Mexico (Company 876) based in El Paso.

Herrera said that the U-Haul corporation also owns the South Virginia Avenue location and provides support to several independent U-Haul dealers in the city.

Chaves County property records indicate that the 283,794 square-foot property at 1705 S. Main St. and its 84,348 square-foot building are now owned by AREC 34 LLC, part of Amerco, the parent company of U-Haul International, based in Phoenix, Arizona.

The managers of AREC 34 include Amerco chairman Edward J. Shoen and Jason A. Berg, chief financial officer. The property and building were given an actual value of $1.6 million for 2019 for tax assessment purposes.

Previously, the building was held by KMart, a subsidiary of Sears Holding Corp., county records indicate. The store closure was announced in December, and operations ceased in March. About 20 local jobs were lost when the business shuttered after about 60 years in the Roswell market.

Herrera said that the renovation plans of the large building depend on city approvals and procedures. The opening of the business also will depend on how quickly owners are able to complete renovations and meet city requirements, she said. She said she expects that four or five new employees might be added once the storage and rental facility is complete.

She said that the company chose the location for a couple of reasons. 

“It is a great little area. A lot of homes are in the area, and many of our customers live nearby,” she said. “Also we wanted to see a building repurposed, not torn down.”

U-Haul has about 1,790 company-owned retail rental operations and 20,000 independent dealers, according to the 2018 Amerco annual report published in July.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.