U-Haul hopes to buy Kingsport Kmart

Photo credit: MGN Online

U-Haul hopes to buy and repurpose more than a dozen Sears and Kmart stores, including the Kmart on Stone Drive in Kingsport.

Sebastien Reyes of U-Haul said the deal depends on approval from a bankruptcy court, where Sears has filed a chapter 11 proceeding. The truck rental and storage company is said to be offering $62 million.

U-Haul plans to repurpose the stores for storage centers. If the deal goes through, there would be no Kmart stores left in the Tri-Cities region and just one Sears store - the location inside The Mall at Johnson City.

Here is a statement from Reyes:

"It has been a pleasure working with the Sears real estate and legal teams to get to this point. We look forward to continue working with them in hopes of getting approval from the bankruptcy court for this transaction. AMERCO Real Estate invests in various property types of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada."
AMERCO Real Estate, the real estate arm of U-Haul International, often acquires and repurposes existing properties -- many of them big-box stores -- through the implementation of its adaptive reuse program. These conversions, which are often of closed/vacated stores, cuts down on landfill waste generated from building tear-downs, preserves the natural resources and eliminates the carbon emissions from new construction, and helps remove unwanted blight from communities.
When U-Haul reuses an existing property for a new full-service U-Haul store, these facilities typically offer indoor climate-controlled self-storage, truck and trailer sharing (a.k.a. rentals), a retail showroom with moving supplies/boxes/hitch accessories, U-Box portable storage containers, a U-Box storage warehouse, a hitch bay for installations, propane, and a U-Haul Re-Use Center for the community to share used boxes and household furnishings.
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