Bruce Harris now sole owner of New Leaf Plaza; pawn store under construction again

UPDATED — Construction is once again under way at Bruce HarrisNew Leaf Plaza at the southwest corner of 21st and Amidon.

“The whole process has started over,” Harris says.

He and partner Larry Cook have gone separate ways, which halted construction since Cook also was the contractor.

“He was more of a sweat equity partner,” Harris says. “His view of (what) we were trying to accomplish was different than mine.”

Cook says he left on good terms with Harris.

“It wasn’t like a bad deal or anything,” Cook says. “Really, it was just a disagreement, and we decided to part ways. We agreed to disagree, you might say.”

Cook adds that he thinks highly of Harris.

“Maybe just leave it at that.”

Harris says Cook is a developer and looks at a project as “how cheap can you get it done and sell it to somebody else and walk away?”

Harris says he has a vested interest in staying at the intersection and helping it grow.

He’s still planning a 30,000-square-foot pawn store at the property, which will include a jewelry store, a check-cashing business, a cellphone outlet and his new lease-to-own business, Better Living.

“I’ll have three Better Livings open up simultaneously,” Harris says of ones at New Leaf, 410 N. West St. and Harry and Oliver. He says they’ll open on Nov. 1.

It’s been a longer wait than he planned, but Harris says his complex will be worth the wait.

“I’ll have the premier pawn shop in the country,” Harris says. “I’m going to take the industry … into whole new heights.”

Another reason Harris says he’s so interested in that intersection is its history. He says he likes that Jesse Chisholm once had a trading post there, and he plans to create a fountain in tribute.

“That’s kind of a neat little historical thing.”