PEORIA, Ill. — Keep Peoria Beautiful presented U-Haul Moving & Storage at Allen Road with its Building Beautification Award on Sept. 29 at the annual Orchid & Onion + Iris Awards Ceremony & Silent Auction.
For decades, U-Haul has dedicated itself to sustainability and environmental protection. The industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage beautifies buildings via adaptive reuse.
Keep Peoria Beautiful is an affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful organization. Keep Peoria Beautiful has bestowed these awards on deserving nominees for 50-plus years. The awards honor businesses for outstanding efforts in improving the appearance of their properties.
“(U-Haul Moving & Storage at Allen Road’s) transformation from what was once a typical industrial park to a rejuvenated building featuring bold façade elements and playful coloration was a nomination that needed to be recognized,” noted Alicia Turner, Keep Peoria Beautiful President.
Erected in 1968, the 100,245-square-foot building is at 8400 N. Allen Road on the city’s north side, a few blocks from the Highway 6 loop.
Many businesses occupied the building through the years, including KLAUS Radio, Whirlpool® and Goodwill®. Keep Peoria Beautiful actually ran its operations from the building for a short time. U-Haul purchased the property and began renovations in Sept. 2014.
“The building was becoming out of date,” U-Haul Company of Illinois president Aaron Freeman said. “Its appearance needed to be updated and U-Haul was happy to step in and transform it. We are always trying to make a positive impact on the communities we serve. Taking old buildings in disrepair and turning them around is just one of the ways we achieve that. It’s truly an honor to be recognized for our hard work.”
U-Haul Company’s Corporate Sustainability initiatives drove the acquisition of the Peoria facility. U-Haul supports infill developments to help local communities lower their carbon footprint. Also, new construction materials need energy and resources. The adaptive reuse of existing buildings reduces these things. It also helps cities reduce their unwanted inventory of unused buildings.
“At U-Haul, we are committed to sustainability through environmental protection, social responsibility and economic efficiency,” U-Haul chief sustainability scientist Dr. Allan Yang explained. “A fundamental policy in U-Haul property development is to rehabilitate existing buildings in lieu of building anew. Building conversions allow U-Haul to promote infill development to meet citizens’ needs while preserving the natural resources and land normally required for new construction.”
“It is important to recognize and commend U-Haul for the transformation of this building as an adaptive reuse project instead of tearing it down and starting new,” Turner added. “Bypassing the wasteful process of demolition and reconstruction brings numerous benefits to our environment while continuing to honor the history of Peoria and the building itself.”
By reusing the warehouse and office space, U-Haul prevented the use of 188 tons of metal manufacturing and transportation; avoided 5,998 tons of new concrete pours; kept 7,297 tons of construction and demolition debris out of landfills; and stopped 3,183,307 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
“Our sustainability mission speaks volumes,” Freeman said. “This is the air that our children and grandchildren will be breathing, so it’s important to protect it. I’m so proud of what we were able to do with this conversion. Seeing this building go from an outdated, dilapidated state to a modern facility is like watching a baby being born. We can’t wait to keep Peoria beautiful for years to come.”
Keep Peoria Beautiful dedicates itself to improving the city through litter prevention, recycling, beatification and education. The non-profit is helping to create a cleaner, greener and more attractive community.