U-Haul converts former Chattanooga recycling center to new warehouse on Central Avenue

Staff Photo by Dave Flessner / U-Haul has bought and converted the former Greif Chattanooga packaging plant, shown here Thursday, into a U-box warehouse.
Staff Photo by Dave Flessner / U-Haul has bought and converted the former Greif Chattanooga packaging plant, shown here Thursday, into a U-box warehouse.

U-Haul has converted a former paper recycling plant on Central Avenue into a warehouse for its growing portable storage container business.

The shipping giant last month acquired the former Greif Chattanooga recycling plant at 1721 Central Ave. and renovated the 76,890-square-foot facility into a U-box warehouse. U-haul officials said the building and 2.6-acre parking area will provide space to store hundreds of mobile containers and enable U-Haul to expands its storage operations in Hamilton County.

"Tennessee ranked in the top five again on the U-Haul Growth Index, meaning the Volunteer State continues to be a very attractive place to live," Clay McQuade, president of U-Haul Co. of Knoxville, said in an announcement of the new storage facility. "Every day people are moving to Tennessee. To manage increased demand for our storage products, we needed this extra space to expand operations."

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U-Box containers provide 257 cubic feet of storage and 1-ton capacity. McQuade said the storage bins are frequently used for furniture, boxes and other belongings and each unit is usually able to store the items for about 1 1/2 rooms.

 

Shippers can tailor how many U-box containers they need through the U-Haul app or by calling 800-GO-UHAUL, McQuade said. Customers can have the containers shipped to their door or have them stored in the U-Haul warehouses until they are needed.

"U-Box provides an easy and secure moving and storage solution," McQuade said. "U-Haul customers crave convenience. That's what we're here to provide."

U-Haul is the third largest self-storage operator in North America with 967,000 rentable units and 83.3 million square feet of self-storage space across the country. The company operates 23,000 U-Haul rental locations across North America and includes a fleet of 192,000 trucks, 138,500 trailers and 44,500 towing devices. U-Haul is the biggest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the country and one of the largest retailers of propane in the U.S.

U-Haul said the purchase of the Central Avenue warehouse, which was built in 1977, reflects the company's corporate sustainability initiative to reuse existing buildings and locate near population centers.

Sustainability initiatives such as reusing existing buildings, modifying trucks to improve fuel efficiency and using Ready-to-Go boxes that can be recycled and used many times all helped U-Haul to be named the Best in Biz gold winner for the Most Environmentally Friendly Service of the Year last year.

The warehouse was acquired by Greif in 2019 through its $1.8 billion purchase of Caraustar Industries, a manufacturer of recycled materials and paper products. Although Greif sold its Chattanooga facility, the company continues to operate a nearby recycling operations in Dalton.

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The storage warehouse is next to the new Burnside Neighborhood and is only a block away from a new office and retail complex being built by McDaniel & Son Construction Co., on the site of what was Double Cola's original bottling plant. Urban Partners Real Estate is planning the commercial complex, known as 1607 Central Ave., with more than 21,000 square feet of leasable space.

Top states for inbound U-Haul moves

In 2023, Southern states again netted the largest number of movers in one-way U-Haul equipment. The top states for U-Haul moves into the state last year were:

1. Texas.

2. Florida.

3. North Carolina.

4. South Carolina.

5. Tennessee.

Source: U-Haul Top Growth States of 2023

 Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340.


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