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U-Haul plans to move in on Kmart location

Another major commercial real estate transaction is underway in the Fort Walton Beach area, after U-Haul announced plans to buy the Cinco Bayou Kmart property in the area. The storage, rental and trucking company will include the store in 13 properties that it plans to buy from Sears Holding Co., the owner of Kmart stores nationwide. Sears is liquidating the stores after filing for bankruptcy in November 2018. U-Haul said that it plans to modify the building into a self-storage and moving facility.

The space, located on Irwin Avenue in Cinco Bayou, will offer similar options to other U-Haul commercial properties. These include indoor climate-controlled self-storage, retail moving supply sales and rentals of U-Haul's famous tucks and trailers. The location will also be home to a U-Box storage warehouse, U-Box portable containers, a propane center and a Re-Use Center for recycling furniture, used goods and moving supplies. The corporation will find out by the end of the year if its purchase proposal will be approved.

The Kmart store has continued to operate despite the bankruptcy of its parent company. Some residents expressed sadness about seeing the end of the line come for Kmart, a brand which many remember from childhood. On the other hand, others noted that stores like Kmart were now less popular than they used to be and that other types of businesses offered greater potential. They also noted that U-Haul's investment in the Florida location seemed to point to a growing overall interest in the area.

Real estate purchases can be significant investments, and companies entering the commercial real estate market should be aware of how their purchases can affect them in the future. A real estate attorney might be able to work with business owners to develop real estate contracts that protect their interests and negotiate the sale and purchase of property.

Source: NWF Daily News, "U-Haul plans to buy Cinco Bayou Kmart", Heather Osbourne, 12/04/2018

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