Biz Buzz: T.J. Maxx to open at Irish Hills in April or May

Clint Pearce of Madonna Enterprises, who is supervising renovations in San Luis Obispo’s Irish Hills Plaza for the company’s new tenant, T.J. Maxx, says the retailer should open its doors for business in April or May.

T.J. Maxx is part of a company based in Framingham, Mass., that includes Marshalls, which has a store in Arroyo Grande. Both sell name-brand apparel and home fashion goods at discount. There are more than 840 T.J. Maxx stores across the country. Net sales totaled $18.6 billion in 2008.

The 26,000-square-foot space had been leased by Linens ‘n Things, which closed after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2008.

T.J. Maxx will share the 56,000-square-foot building with New Frontiers, the grocery store that is moving from Foothill Boulevard to the former Circuit City space next summer, Pearce said. New Frontiers is in the design phase of making its tenant improvements.

“This will be a major change to the interior because it’s going from an electronics store to a food store,” Pearce said.

Circuit City, the nation’s second-largest electronics retailer, closed its doors this year following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The New Frontiers store will include a gourmet deli and cafe with salad bar, a hot food bar featuring ethnic foods, a pizza kitchen, fresh sushi, a specialty coffee counter, gourmet cheese department with olive bar, and a full bakery and dessert case. Outdoor seating will also be available.

It is not known yet what will become of the space that New Frontiers currently occupies on Foothill Boulevard.

With these two tenants in, the Irish Hills Plaza will be fully occupied with the exception of a small space next to the Heritage Oaks Bank.

“I think we’re in really good shape,” Pearce said.

— Melanie Cleveland