The former May's Drug Warehouse at 1410 E. Seventh St. in Joplin will soon have new life as a U-Haul self-storage location.
The company opened the location with truck and trailer rentals, moving supplies and portable storage containers on Feb. 11. It plans to revamp 44,682 square feet of space within the former drug store for self-storage services, said Aaron Self, marketing president for U-Haul Co. of Missouri. Renovations are scheduled to be completed next week.
The plan, Self said, is for the company's nearby existing location at 2521 E. Seventh St. to be consolidated into the new location at the former May's.
"It was really just starting to overrun the property," he said. "We realized, with the growth of the city and the rebuilding (after the 2011 tornado) and everything, I could really see a need for more uses in that area, more storage, more space, basically, to provide a more convenient location for the customers, you know, where they're not fighting for parking and things like that."
Self said the new location will include drive-up and climate-controlled storage units, and the company plans to retain the property where the existing storage units are to potentially use them for other aspects of business.
The new location will create five to six new jobs, Self said, and could potentially create more later. Those jobs are newly created, not transfers from the existing location, he said.
"It just seems like that was the most convenient area," Self said. "Because we've been in the Joplin area for so long, we didn't want to move too far from (the current location). We've gotten a lot of feedback from our customers that that seems like one of the most convenient locations, easiest to get to, both by public transportation and just in a highly traveled and populated area. So we felt our services were probably best used in that area."
Self also said that the company was excited about the opportunity to retrofit an existing structure as opposed to new construction because of the limited environmental impacts. U-Haul has an initiative for "adaptive reuse" of buildings where possible to reduce carbon footprints as well as limit the number of unused buildings in cities.