Residents who need a vehicle or supplies to help them move will soon have another option in Moose Jaw as a business owner plans to open a U-Haul operation downtown.
During its Nov. 28 regular meeting, city council unanimously approved a discretionary use application from Linh Nguyen to develop a “vehicle rentals, sales and service centre” at 58 Caribou Street West. The new U-Haul business would share office space with the existing LuxArt Printing Inc. — which Nguyen’s wife operates — at that address.
During his presentation to council, Nguyen explained that he learned about the high demand for rental trucks and moving equipment from all the phone calls LuxArt has received. In particular, the office received 64 calls in one day from residents wanting to rent a truck.
There used to be two U-Haul businesses in Moose Jaw, but the one on South Hill closed, leaving only the dealer on Caribou Street East, he continued. So, he thought opening a second U-Haul business could meet residents’ demands.
“We know that to increase (the) effectiveness of the (LuxArt) business, we try to raise our output by using scarce resources,” he said. “We have resources, but only printing revenues not cover a lot of costs monthly. And I would like to do another thing with my U-Haul.
“We don’t have to spend more about the expenses, so electricity, gas or telephone or Wi-Fi or something like that not increase. But the outcome is the revenues (would be higher) from last year. … When we increase our income, we pay more tax. So that is a win-win (for the business and city).”
Nguyen plans to use LuxArt’s underused rear parking lot to keep vehicles — three to four trucks — for the rental service. There would also be a retail component since various moving supplies would be available for customers to rent or purchase.
The entire site is 10,502.8 square feet in size, including 3,751.6 square feet for the office and retail, 1,277.2 square feet for the vacant parking lot along the building and deck and 5,474 square feet for the existing parking lot.
The new U-Haul business would rent out cars, medium and small trucks, and other tools and equipment for transportation, Nguyen said. The business would also sell supplies to move homes and transport goods, such as moving boxes, covers and bags, tie-down ropes, packing tape, bubble bags, plastic moving boxes, and moving and lifting tools.
The property is suitable for operations as a U-Haul dealer, which a company official confirmed when he reviewed the area and signed the agreement, Nguyen added. He also planned to clean up the parking lot to promote the community’s beauty.
A council report explained that this land use is discretionary in the C2 district because it may conflict with permitted uses in some circumstances.
There are two U-Haul neighbourhood dealers in Moose Jaw, located at 1403 Caribou Street East and 105 Home Street East, within the M1 light-industrial district and C1 neighbourhood commercial district, respectively, the report continued.
Meanwhile, the closest developed industrial district where vehicle rentals, sales and service centres are permitted is roughly 230 metres west on Caribou Street West. This light industrial area services various industrial and manufacturing uses with some associated commercial and service establishments, while various residential districts surround it.
The council report added that all municipal services exist on the site, while city hall doesn’t believe any service upgrades will be required with this development.
The next regular council meeting is Monday, Dec. 12.