Sports Authority, the Denver-based sporting goods company that fills nearly a block on Chorro Street between Higuera and Marsh streets, is leaving downtown.
Sports Authority operations manager Sara Jones confirmed the store is preparing to move into the space formally occupied by Borders bookstore in the Madonna Plaza Shopping Center and will take over spaces formerly occupied by the All That Glitters jewelry store and The Bed Store.
Those retail spaces are undergoing construction to transform them into one 35,000-square-foot retail space. Jones said the move should be complete sometime in mid-May.
As for what might go into the downtown Sports Authority space remains to be seen. “We are working on finding a replacement tenant,” said Therese Cron, the tenant coordinator for Copeland Properties, which owns the Chorro Street building. The lease agreement between Sports Authority and Copeland Properties is not up until the end of the year, Cron said.
The Schottenstein Property Group, of Columbus, Ohio, purchased the roughly 319,000-square-foot Madonna Plaza Shopping Center in June 2011, and several former tenants say the new owner prefers national retailers over locally owned stores.
“The new owners aren’t interested in locally owned businesses. We’re a liability to them because we don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Dave Pankratz. He and twin brother Dan own the One Way Boardshop in Madonna Plaza. They say Schottenstein asked One Way to vacate that spot by March 18.
On Schottenstein’s website, the company says it is an “acquirer and redeveloper of high quality, power/big box, community and neighborhood shopping centers.”
Schottenstein owns interest in more than 156 properties in 27 states in excess of 21 million square feet of gross leasable area, according to its website.
Since the company acquired Madonna Plaza, One Way Boardshop, All That Glitters and The Bed Shop have closed stores there.
“Sales were not what they used to be, so we negotiated with our landlords to lower the rent, and by doing that we had to sign a clause that said if they were able to find a tenant who could pay more, we would be out in 30 days. And that’s what happened,” Pankratz said.
The One Way Boardshop store in the Town Center Mall in Santa Maria will remain open.
It’s not known what store will move into the space it’s vacating in the Madonna Plaza retail space.
“They won’t really even speak to us. They won’t even tell us who is moving into our space,” Pankratz said.
The Tribune’s calls and emails to Schottenstein were not returned.