The largest Harley-Davidson store in the Northwest, measured by size, will open in south Renton next January, a key part of a destination retail area for those who like to feel the wind in their face.
Lanphere Enterprises is building the 40,000-square-foot Downtown Harley-Davidson Renton store right next to Lanphere’s Renton Motorcycles on East Valley Highway.
Cost is estimated at between $5 million and $6 million, according to store dealer and general manager Terry Stallcop.
In addition to the 40,000 square feet, the new store will have about 50,000 square feet in a building that once housed the Wide Open Sports Arena for service and storage.
That total square footage is about three times more than the space at the current Harley-Davidson store in Tukwila just off Interurban Avenue (and visible from Interstate 5). Stallcop says the dealership needs more room, especially for parking and special events.
And, all that new room will give Harley owners something they crave – a chance to gather to talk about their Harleys, lovingly referred to for decades as Hogs.
It’s all part of what Stallcop calls the Harley lifestyle.
“Absolutely, we sell that,” Stallcop said.
Stallcop’s parents even drove Harleys when he was growing up in Puyallup and he is, of course, an enthusiast.
The cost for that lifestyle ranges roughly $7,500 for an entry-level Harley to the low 20s for a touring bike, according to Stallcop.
So come January the Harley family will have a new place to gather.
That gathering spot is about 250,000 square feet, including the two stores and The Full Throttle Cafe and Lounge.
Renton Motorcycle sells motorcyles, watercraft, ATVs and snowmobiles from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.
The Harley-Davidson store employs about 70 people. Together, The Full Throttle and Renton Motorcycles employ about 110.
Lanphere Enterprises also owns Renton Honda, which has undergone a major remodeling.
The move comes at a time when the economy is down, but it always comes up again, according to Stallcop.
“We are in competition for the consumers’ discretionary dollars,” he said.
Preliminary site work on the new store began this week. Stallcop said the company had hoped to open the store this November, but permitting was delayed a bit because of the unstable soil on the site, which is typical on the Valley floor. The construction will require piers driven into the ground.
Stallcop said “hats off” to the city for the expeditious way the permitting was handled.
Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.