UPDATED: APRIL 20, 2018 12:19 PM — U-Haul International is preparing plans for a new truck maintenance facility next to its flagship moving and self-storage center now under construction near Orlando International Airport, drawn to population growth in the Lake Nona community.
Located at 7800 Narcoossee Road, the 10.2-acre parcel lies directly north of used car dealer Off Lease Only's property where expansion is underway. U-Haul Co of Florida paid $1.65 million for the site in December 2014.
Construction is currently underway by Abrams Construction on the project's first phase: a three-story moving service and self-storage building, with 88,000 square feet of rentable area. It is an estimated four months from completion, owner's representative Rod Baldwin told GrowthSpotter.
Phase 2 on the property includes a repair and maintenance facility for U-Haul trucks. Construction plans are still under review by Orange County, with the work estimated at $4 million. General contractor bids for that phase are currently being fielded, Baldwin said.
Concurrently, U-Haul is filing a request to annex the property into the city of Orlando for sewer connectivity.
Population growth in Lake Nona drew the company to invest now, based on proprietary research that do-it-yourself moving and self-storage options were lacking in close proximity to that submarket, said Miguel Caminos, president for U-Haul in Orlando.
"We are investing in Orlando and the future of Lake Nona," Caminos said via e-mail. "Being close to Orlando International Airport is important for our business. Air travel is part of the moving business and we want to be accommodating."
U-Haul plans to position the new facility as a flagship store. Services will include truck and trailer sharing, professional hitch installation, U-Box portable moving and self-storage containers, climate-controlled storage and more.
Winter Springs-based American Civil Engineering is leading the annexation application process.
The U-Haul property lies 2.3 miles south of another new self-storage facility on S. Goldenrod Road for which plans were filed in March, meant to serve the Lee Vista and airport submarkets.
Population growth is propelling Orlando's self-storage market. Orange County added the second most new residents in the state after Hillsborough in 2017, and the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area ranked No. 8 in the nation, according to new annual U.S. Census data the Orlando Sentinel reported on March 22.
Editor's Note: This article was updated to correct U-Haul's status of active construction on the Phase 1 building on the property, and clarify pending permits are related to the Phase 2 truck maintenance facility.