The Space

In 2018, the Lakes Trading Co. gun store and shooting range in Forest Lake experienced a major fire that crippled the business. But through adversity comes great opportunity! The new owners of Best Defense Armory & Range are excited to bring their own military experience and enthusiasm for shooting sports to the newly renovated facility. The renovations allow shooters to enjoy an even more enjoyable, welcoming environment that is perfect for people of all skill levels.

The new retail store architecture by PlanForce not only includes a number of exterior improvements, but it also upgrades the space for use as a high-end indoor gun range. The renovated building design includes a public retail space and two shooting ranges;, plus one private club room that is restricted to members only.

Our Approach

The original building was a shell of its former self, with the exterior and roof reduced to ash. The gun range required extensive rebuilding before it could be put into use, above and beyond the normal scope of a project like this. The requirements to build a gun range are stringent, and in place to protect everyone (and everything) from active ballistics.

Another major difference between a normal commercial retail project and this one is the robust HVAC requirements due to the lead from the bullets. To combat this, we installed a very expensive scrubber system to handle the exhaust from the space and bring in a large amount of fresh air.

The Results

All parties wanted to create a one-of-a-kind customer experience with this unique space. The architect came up with a mixed design of industrial finishes combined with contemporary ones, which was unique compared to other facilities like this. We were able to implement a delightful end product with extensive structural planning to make the project shine while keeping the building safe. 

This project required a great deal of communication and understanding between building the facility and the gun range vendors that supplied all the equipment for the range. SullivanDay was able to supply the team that installed all of the very high-tech gun range equipment over a three-week period near the end of the project. The client really appreciated that we owned all aspects of this project from start to finish! We are thrilled with how it turned out.

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