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Aug. 26, 2012

Nabisco Becomes U-Haul Self-Storage Location; Urban Farm Receives Grant for Solar System

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

AMERCO Real Estate, the parent company that owns U-Haul International based in Phoenix, AZ, has recently acquired one of Detroit’s historic buildings, the 250,000-square-foot National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) located at 899 West Baltimore Street, expanding its network of self-storage locations in the city.

The company’s acquisition is part of the U-Haul Detroit Revitalization project that aims to expand and invest in Detroit by buying and repurposing existing historic buildings.  ”U-Haul wants to give back to the great city of Detroit by expanding and investing in it,” says U-Haul International Chairman Hoe Shoen.

The seven-story Nabisco building (pictured), which was built in 1920 as a bakery, will have more than 930 indoor, single-level storage rooms with nearly 63,000 square foot of self-storage. The facility is expected to become fully operational in mid-2013, when the renovation project is completed.

In other news, Detroit Free Press reports that a four-acre urban farm will be run on solar power thanks to a grant from GOOD magazine. The magazine’s “Use Technology for GOOD” challenge for ideas of a project that fuels social change through technology resulted in a $2,500 grant that was offered to farm owner Noah Link, who received most votes for his project, Off Grid Solar System for an Urban Farm. The farm began in 2011 in the Highland Park area and over the course of one year it has harvested a big amount of organic produce for the surrounding community and has built good relationships with its neighbors.

According to GOOD magazine, a four-person team has been working to design and implement the solar system’s components, which cost $8,000. The system installation will be completed by the end of the month and will provide energy for farming and day-to-day living throughout the year.

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Nabisco building image courtesy of U-Haul website; solar system installation image credits to GOOD magazine

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