The History Behind U-Haul Headquarters

May 19, 2015

u-haul headquartersIn 1945, U-Haul co-founders L.S. “Sam” Shoen and his wife, Anna Mary Carty Shoen, found themselves moving from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon. The problem, however, was they could not find a rental trailer available for a one-way move. Instead, the couple was forced to buy a trailer. It was from this experience that the concept for U-Haul was first born.

In the early years of the company’s history, U-Haul headquarters were located in Portland. However, in 1966 L.S. “Sam” Shoen decided that the company needed to move out of Portland. While the exact reasons for this decision are unknown – some have said Shoen was unhappy with the lack of parking the city offered to his growing number of employees – he eventually settled on moving the company to Phoenix.

Ralph Shiver, President of U-Haul Company in the 1970’s, summed up his employees’ reaction to the move.

“About half of them thought they had died and gone to heaven, while the other half thought they had died and gone to hell, and I was in the latter half.”

Over a year after deciding to move the company headquarters, they purchased a building in Downtown Phoenix, the Central Towers. On July 4, 1967 the first U-Haul employee moved into the building. It was in this building that U-Haul continued to grow to the company it is today.

Current CEO, Joe Shoen, held his first U-Haul job in the Phoenix headquarters. He was tasked to help with the renovations the building was undergoing.

“I can remember looking at this building when it was for sale. And one of my very first jobs that I got ‘pseudo’ paid for was working in this building as it went about renovations to make it so we could move in. So I was on the, you know, I don’t know what to call it, clean-up crew or the building crew that first summer, so I have a lot of memories of that.”

Do you have any memories of working or being at the towers? Share with us in the comments below.

 

More articles like this one…

What’s New

U-Haul and VVA Unite to Serve Veterans

U-Haul and VVA Unite to Serve Veterans

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), an organization founded in 1978 to support and advocate for veterans of the Vietnam War, serves by the motto “never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” VVA’s goal is to promote the well-being of all veterans and...

Spokane Wildfires: U-Haul Offers 30 Days Free Self-Storage to Victims

Spokane Wildfires: U-Haul Offers 30 Days Free Self-Storage to Victims

U-Haul® is offering 30 days of free self-storage and U-Box® container usage to residents in and around Spokane impacted by two active wildfires. The Gray Fire and Oregon Road Fire have already destroyed hundreds of structures and burned thousands of acres. Evacuations...

U-Haul Appoints New Recruiting Manager in Jaris Scott

U-Haul Appoints New Recruiting Manager in Jaris Scott

One of the best ways to grow your status as a veteran-friendly employer is to put a U.S. Army veteran is charge of your company’s recruiting efforts. That’s what U-Haul International has done with Jaris Scott, who was recently named Recruiting Manager for the industry...

Mandy Morris Named U-Haul Supply Chain and Logistics Director

Mandy Morris Named U-Haul Supply Chain and Logistics Director

Mandy Morris has been a part of the U-Haul Purchasing and Supply team for 12 years, including several years as a manager in the department. Now she’s ready for a new challenge as Director of Supply Chain and Logistics. Morris steps into the role that Don Cerimeli held...