I-5 Sports is looking to move both of its current stores in Albany and Corvallis into the old Safeway building in Albany, 635 Pacific Blvd. SW.
Owner Larry Sanders hopes to open the doors of his business’ new home in June.
The new showroom will have roughly 15,000-square-feet to display ATVs, side-by-side vehicles and motorcycles, Sanders said. The current showrooms in Albany and Corvallis combined only have about 5,000 square feet of space.
“We’re more efficient in one location,” Sanders said.
Both of the existing locations for 1-5 Sports — at 1290 S. Commercial Way SE in Albany, and at 1925 SE Third St. in Corvallis — were in dire need of upgrades, he said, so the move also will solve that problem.
The Albany location also is beneficial because it creates one spot for customers to travel to that’s close to Interstate 5.
While I-5 Sports has many customers in Linn and Benton counties, it draws patrons from the Portland area down to Cottage Grove, from the Oregon Coast over to the Cascades.
“We are a local company, but geographically, because of the nature of our products, we cover a large area,” Sanders said.
The company has 13 employees.
I-5 Sports is a dealership and service spot for Can-Am, Polaris and Honda vehicles. Sanders said he doesn’t foresee adding any additional lines with the move.
The Kampfer family, which owns the old Safeway site, are handling renovations, though there won’t be any major changes, and the swooping roof will remain.
“The bones of the building are good, but it’s time to update the electrical, the plumbing. It’s not going to be the Taj Mahal, but it will be clean, well-lit,” Sanders said.
Sanders grew up in Nebraska, and he reminisced about using a motorcycle to check on cows and inspect fences on his family’s ranch and farm. His father was in favor of dirt bikes as a tool for the agricultural industry.
“My dad got kicked by a horse when he was a kid. He always hated horses,” Sanders said.
Sanders said I-5 Sports got its start after he and co-owner David Pipher acquired Smucker ATV Sales of Harrisburg in 2011. The business partners then purchased the Corvallis Honda ATV and motorcycle dealership in 2016.
The old Safeway site has been mostly vacant since 1999, when the grocery store moved to a new location near Heritage Mall. The structure was built in 1966.