Hogeland Auto Plaza launches new expansion | News, Sports, Jobs

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TR PHOTO BY SUSANNA MEYER Lonnie Hogeland Sr., owner of Hogeland Auto Plaza, recently gave the go-ahead for a major new expansion to his store, and the new build will create a much larger space in which to work for him and his team. The development is directly west of the existing structures on the lot at 1408 E. Main St.

An expansion to the Hogeland Auto Plaza is officially in the works, and owner Lonnie Hogeland Sr. is excited about the possibilities the big new addition will bring.

Hogeland Auto Plaza’s presence in Marshalltown dates back almost 75 years and has been owned by the Hogeland family since the beginning when Lonnie’s father Lyle first opened the doors in 1948. While it originally started out as just a body shop, they’ve since grown into a junkyard and towing company, and they still offer the same services that started it all.

Currently the car park consists of three main areas, an office building, body shop and service shop, but construction of the largest building to date started last week. Directly to the west of the service shop, a 60 by 80 foot extension with four huge doors is being built, which will also include a break room and a storage room in addition to the workstations.

Lonnie Hogeland said some of its larger trucks can barely fit through the doors of the existing buildings, so the expansion’s larger doors — a pair of 24-by-14-foot doors and a pair of 24-by-16-foot doors — will be a welcome addition to the store .

Along with the construction of the new building, Lonnie also decided to rip out and redesign the old parking lot area to make it durable.

He’s been considering taking the plunge and building an annex for about five years, but Lonnie said he’s always hesitated for one reason or another.

“I’ve held back for years. I’ve had these bigger trucks for quite a while, but it’s a tough economy, what do you do? Are you making a big investment?” Lonnie asked. “The blueprint grew and was thrown away. It got smaller. The thing is, I want to be able to afford it. You know ’cause you ‘should I do it, should I do it?’ And then you literally ball it up, throw it away, forget it, and then you’re like, ‘I have to do it.'”

Although he had reservations, he finally decided it was time to proceed with the expansion and he decided to do it right. Low interest rates on loans was a factor that encouraged him and his youngest son’s interest in the family business also inspired him to get started.

Thirteen-year-old Levi Hogeland has had an interest in the workings of Hogeland Auto Plaza for some time, and Lonnie recalls that he was around Levi’s age when he first became interested in his father’s business decisions.

“Just the simple fact that Levi is fully into it (is encouraging). He’s the same age as me when my dad and I looked at the other lot next door and said, “Should we buy the other lot?”. And I say ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ Well,[Levi]says, “Let’s build this building.” You can tell he wants to do it,” said Lonnie.

Lonnie’s older son Luke, who is 15, is also interested in the business and Lonnie hopes to encourage that. The legacy of the car place is important to him, and he wants to ensure they continue to grow with the business.

Lonnie said that before his father’s death in 2015, Lyle always said the car place was recession-proof because people would always need a tow truck or affordable parts, so despite the economic challenges the nation is facing, Lonnie is confident that the expansion would be worthwhile.

“It doesn’t matter if you have electric cars. Eventually it’s going to break and you’re going to have to have it towed,” he said. “I’m excited for this to be big.”

Scharnweber, a Toledo-based construction company, will carry out much of the work on the new building, including electricity, water, sewage and plumbing, as well as heating and cooling. The building itself will be completed by Iowa Falls’ K-Van Construction Company, and Le Grand-based Hoskins Construction will also be working on the project as general contractor.

As of now, Lonnie doesn’t have an estimated completion date, but they hope everything goes smoothly and the project will be completed quickly. Until then, however, Hogeland Auto Plaza will remain open throughout the construction process.

Hogeland Auto Plaza is located at 1408 E. Main St. For more information, visit http://www.hogelandautoplaza.com/.

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Contact Susanna Meyerat 641-753-6611 or

[email protected]



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