Light Show in New Center Detroit – 01/14/13

Jan 14, 2013

If people didn’t know that U-Haul was in New Center Detroit, they do now. Last Thursday, the fire alarm system in the U-Haul Nabisco building was triggered by dust from construction activity in the load/unload area. Horns and strobe lights went off throughout the building. We were able to override the horns, but not the lights. The neighborhood has been treated to a light show every night since. Hopefully, by the time this is posted, our fire-alarm vendor will have the lights reset.

U-Haul Nabisco Building Detroitbanners_north_sideNot for sale, really

It took a while, but we’ve finally removed the “For Sale” banners from the north and south sides of the building. We used a lift on the north side to reach the banner on the sixth floor, but the lift couldn’t be positioned on the south side, so we came up with another approach.

Two down, one to go

U-Haul Nabisco building Detroit load_unload_concrete (3)

The ramp and the handicap ramp in the load/unload area have been completed; the grout was poured on Thursday. That leaves the steel handicap ramp on the outside, which we will start on this week, weather permitting.

So that’s where the drill bits went

Down in the basement, we are installing a backup sump pump that will turn on automatically if the main pump fails. There also will be an alarm that will alert us if both pumps stop working.

U-Haul Nabisco building Detroit sump_pump_cleaning (2)

The sump pump is installed in the lowest point in the basement, in a specially constructed sump pit. Water flows into the sump pit through drains or by natural water migration through the soil. The sump pump’s job is to pump the water out of the pit and away from the building so the basement or crawlspace stays dry. While clearing out sludge from the sump pit, we found a couple of drill bits we were missing.

Third floor self-storage

U-Haul Nabisco building Detroit storage_3rd_floor_moulding

Work on the third floor has begun, to prep the area for construction of more than 900 self-storage rooms. The ceilings have been scraped to remove peeling paint and more than half of the ceiling has been painted. The baseboard molding has been laid out on the floor and painted. The carpenters will be installing the baseboards this week. Any gaps between the wood floor and the wall will be filled with insulating foam and be covered by molding. On Wednesday we will begin to lay out the floor for storage construction.

Paint and tile spruce up showroom

U-Haul Nabisco building Detroit showroom_windows_exterior (1)

We took advantage of the mild weather to paint the exterior windows of the showroom. The process involves three stages; applying a rust inhibitor, then primer, then the top coat. The painters use a scaffold and start at the top and work their way to the bottom of the window. Each stage requires approximately two hours of drying time. One window is completed; a second window is painted to the lower section. Thanks to the break in the weather, we are way ahead of schedule on this.

U-Haul Nabisco building Detroit showroom_bathroom_tile

Inside, we started to lay the ceramic floor in the showroom restroom; this should be completed this week.

A bit of building history

Originally, the fifth floor was arranged for the storage and renovating of cans, and also contained the machine shop, carpenter shop and the automatically controlled fans, heaters and coolers for maintaining a uniform temperature in the mixing and proving rooms.

Where are U?

And finally, the new “U” for the north sign is on its way from Tucson and should arrive in Detroit any day now.

This blog was created to let the community know that U-Haul is in Detroit, and to share our plans with you and to get input from the community. We want to hear from you. Tell us what you like and don’t like about our posts, building plans or anything else you want to share about Detroit. We are excited to be part of the Detroit community and want to learn from you!

Next post, 1/21.


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