QUEENSBURY — The local Kmart store is going to become a self-storage and retail shop for U-Haul, according to federal bankruptcy court filings.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York is expected to take action on the proposed purchase, along with many other Sears and Kmart assets, by the end of the month.
The purchase would allow U-Haul to expand the business now at 112 Main St., Queensbury. There, customers can rent storage lockers or large u-boxes, which are placed in the customer’s driveway for a slow move-out. The boxes can be stored at U-Haul until the customer is ready to ship them to their new home.
U-Haul does not generally build new storefronts. It buys existing buildings for “adaptive reuse,” said spokesman Jeff Lockridge.
“We don’t tend to change the buildings very much,” he said. “Our U-Haul stores are not uniform. We have small U-Haul stores, we have large U-Haul stores. Part of the reason is we acquire existing buildings.”
The company likes to buy big-box stores, because the square footage creates plenty of storage space.
“The majority of that footage goes to self-storage,” Lockridge said.
The property, at 308 Dix Ave., is assessed at $4.9 million. It was built in 1993 and is 176,238 square feet (a little bigger than 4 acres or four football fields), according to town assessment records.
The location is within a few blocks of two other storage facilities.
For years, as Sears Holding closed its Sears and Kmart stores, the local store stayed open. As recently as last month, the local Kmart was not on the closure list. It has still not been officially announced.
The news came as a shock to shoppers Tuesday.
“I’m going to miss them, especially around the holidays,” said shopper Catherine Moore, of Hudson Falls. “Nobody else does layaway.”
The nearby Sears store, at Aviation Mall, closed Nov. 25, and the Sears store at Wilton Mall is reportedly closing in February.