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Amerco Real Estate Submits Sustainability-Improvement Proposal to City of Coralville; No Response From City Officials

CORALVILLE, Iowa, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --On August 10, 2009, Amerco Real Estate Company (AREC), the owner of the U-Haul Center of Coralville located at 2601 2nd St/HWY 6 W, submitted a sustainability-improvement proposal to the City of Coralville. To date, the City of Coralville has not responded.

The proposal submitted to the city of Coralville included ways to:

  1. Increase sustainability by reducing the facility's carbon footprint.
  2. Enhance the appearance of the U-Haul Center of Coralville.
  3. Provide one-stop moving and storage convenience for the community.

The U-Haul Center of Coralville has been serving the do-it-yourself moving needs of Coralville residents and the University of Iowa since 1984. The U-Haul Center of Coralville is a first-generation facility whose services include only the shared use of moving van and trailer rentals, and the retail sale of sustainable moving-related items, such as boxes, packing peanuts which are 100 percent biodegradable, moving pads which are made from recycled denim and the Take a Box/Leave a Box display, which allows community residents to drop off unwanted used boxes for others to use for FREE. U-Haul studies show that 23 percent of moving customers need self-storage before and/or after their move. So, allowing the addition of storage to this location only makes sense for the entire community as a whole. Currently, U-Haul develops only those facilities that can provide both the shared use of rental equipment and the shared use of self-storage services. However, U-Haul also is in the process of adding shared-use self-storage to as many existing facilities as possible in order to provide one-stop convenience for do-it-yourself movers and the community.

In 2007, U-Haul began exploring the possibility of upgrading the appearance of the Coralville U-Haul Center, which would include the addition of shared-use self-storage, permeable ground cover and reimaging of the current facility. AREC contacted Coralville's Building Department to inquire about zoning restrictions for the property. AREC was informed that the location lies in the C-2 (arterial commercial) district in which self-storage was not a permitted use. At that time, AREC asked about any measures that could be taken to gain approval to add self-storage at the location. City staff mentioned that rezoning to the required I-2 (light industrial) district would be impossible, since that would result in spot zoning the parcel.

AREC understood this zoning matter and propose the potential alternative of a text amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow interior self-storage as a special-use permit in a C-2 zone as an accessory use to shared-use truck and trailer rentals.

"Adding shared use of self-storage to our existing facilities not only allows us to offer a more convenient service for customers, but also promotes one of our most important objectives, which is to contribute to a better environment," stated AREC President Carlos Vizcarra. "Because there are few storage facilities in the Coralville area, providing a one-stop moving facility for our Coralville customers would enable area residents to reduce the number and length of trips, which, in turn, would boost customer convenience and a reduce vehicle emissions (due to fewer miles traveled)."

Renting a truck or trailer at a U-Haul facility, then driving to a more distant storage facility to load and unload household goods releases an unnecessary amount of carbon emissions into the environment. Case studies for this location indicate that adding 522 self-storage units to this location would eliminate 24.9 metric tons of potential carbon from the atmosphere, because people would have to drive less to avail themselves of more convenient storage.

"In addition to taking a positive step to reduce carbon emissions, the construction of an addition to this U-Haul center would employ various sustainable-design techniques that would help establish a standard in Coralville," Vizcarra added. "The project also would bring new job opportunities to the community."

U-Haul Sustainability Initiatives require U-Haul to build "greener" U-Haul facilities because we believe it is our responsibility to develop and invest in real estate with a keen eye toward the impact such development will have on the environment. U-Haul facilities are designed for enhanced sustainability, in that we feature motion-sensor lighting systems and energy-efficient heating/cooling systems, in conjunction with a thermally efficient building envelope. By using recycled and renewable materials, and conserving water and electricity, our facilities operate with innovative green technologies designed to reduce waste during construction and operation.

"In addition to looking out for the health of the environment, we are determined that the visual appearances of our facilities will enhance surrounding neighborhoods and streetscapes," Vizcarra added. "Therefore, we have put together a design and enhancement package for the Coralville U-Haul Center. With a new color scheme for our buildings and the addition of landscaping, our U-Haul center would blend in with the environment of Coralville.

For a copy of the entire proposal, please contact the U-Haul Public Relations Department at or 602-263-6194.

About U-Haul

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the best choice for the do-it-yourself mover, with a network of more than 15,800 locations in all 50 United States and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul customers' patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to approximately 101,000 trucks, 76,000 trailers and 34,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers more than 395,000 rooms and approximately 35 million square feet of storage space at nearly 1,090 owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the consumer's number one choice as the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry. U-Haul supplies alternative-fuel for vehicles and backyard barbecues as one of the nation's largest retailers of propane.

U-Haul was founded by a Navy veteran who grew up in the Great Depression. Tires and gas were still rationed or in short supply during the late 1940s when U-Haul began serving U.S. customers. Today, that background is central to the U-Haul Sustainability Program: "Serving the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle includes fuel efficient moving vans, neighborhood proximity, moving box reuse, moving pads made from discarded material and packing peanuts that are 100 percent biodegradable. Learn more about these facts and others at

    Joanne Fried
    Ashleigh Wagner
    U-Haul Public Relations
    (602) 263-6194

SOURCE Amerco Real Estate Company

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