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Al's Sporting Goods builds new digs

By Jeff Dahdah
On January 23, 2014

Residents of Logan can look forward to a new shopping center by the end of the year. The ownership of Al’s Sporting Goods has purchased a lot on Main Street and 1000 North and is in the process of turning it into a new feature in Logan.

“It’ll be the best shopping center in Logan,” said Kris Larsen, owner of Al’s. “We are sparing no expense.”

Al’s Sporting Goods will be the main feature of the shopping center with a building twice the size of their current one. They are also building a 10-lane commercial gun range that will be attached to the new building.

“It’s a really tricked-out, sweet gun range,” Larsen said. “It has all of the automated features. It’s all sound proof.”

In the plaza there is also a Natural Grocers, a store that only sells natural and organic food that Larsen compared to Whole Foods. There will also be a Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a Dunkin' Donuts and Firehouse Subs.

The location for the center is where Mexican food restaurant El Toro Viejo currently operates. However, in addition to building the new shopping center, Al’s is also building El Toro Viejo a new restaurant on 1050 N. Main St.

“We gave them the option of staying in their building,” Larsen said. “We all felt that the building was old and tired, even though it serves a great purpose. El Toro Viejo is an awesome restaurant. We agreed to build them a new building.”

The people at El Toro Viejo are ready to move into a new building.

“Right now the construction bothers us a lot,” said Daniel Arias, manager at El Toro Viejo. “(The new building is) brand new and we are excited to move.”

The restaurant won’t move until the new building is finished, and there is currently a house there that needs to be demolished before construction can start. Arias said the decision to move was pretty simple.

“Our contract expired pretty soon, and they just approached us about the switch,” Arias said. “It was the only option.”

There will also be another business going into the shopping center that has yet to be announced. The building on the corner of the lot has many suitors, but Larsen wouldn’t comment on who they are, just that there are five to six national businesses vying for the spot.

“There has been a lot of puzzle pieces to put to together,” Larsen said. “We had to buy buildings. Some older ones needed to be cleaned out, some dirt had petroleum, but the whole project is safe now.”

Larsen said some buildings had asbestos in them that they had to clean and some of the dirt had petroleum in it left over from a gas station that needed to be cleaned out, but they are ready to start construction.

The shopping center will open up a lot of jobs for students at USU both in Al’s and in the new buildings, according to Larsen.

“We’ve done very well. We’ve got 100 employees, many of which are students at Utah State,” Larsen said. “We graduated from Utah State. We love USU.”

The whole project will still take some time, and Logan residents shouldn’t expect construction to be done for a few months, but when it is done, there will be a few new businesses the city has never seen before.

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