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U-Haul purchases vacant Kmart building in La Crosse



After closing the store in September of 2017, Kmart in La Crosse may become a U-Haul facility.

U-Haul confirmed it purchased the former Kmart at 2415 State Road in La Crosse. Andrea Batchelor, media and public relations specialist with U-Haul International, said the company planned to open a temporary retail showroom with a limited stock of moving supplies such as boxes Monday, Jan. 11. However, she said they are still in talks with the city zoning commission because it pertains to self-storage and U-Haul truck and trailer sharing.

“Our plan, pending the necessary city approvals, is to begin property renovations to create a modern, full-service U-Haul retail and self-storage facility,” Batchelor said. “Our full-service stores often include an expansive, remodeled retail showroom; indoor climate-controlled self-storage units with high-tech security features; towing accessories and professional hitch installation; U-Box portable storage containers; the ecofriendly Take A Box, Leave A Box program; and much more.”

She noted U-Haul is a proponent of adaptive reuse as part of its sustainability initiative. About 70 percent of U-Haul-owned locations across North America are properties that were vacated by the last owner or primary tenant, according to Batchelor.

“We repurposed these properties and bring them back to life,  helping reduce the amount of energy and resources required for new-building materials while enabling cities to shrink their unwanted inventory of unused building space,” she said. “Our plans and timelines are subject to city approvals and other variables, but we are looking forward to revitalizing the property and being a key part of La Crosse’s growth and future.”

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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