I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years since we reported that Sport Chalet signed on as one of the first major retailers to join what was then a newly remodeled FIGat7th shopping center. Now with the sporting goods chain announcing last week that it will be closing all 47 stores, including the Downtown LA flagship, this gives us an opportunity to fill in the gap that will be left behind with something else really great for the downtown community!
Back in 2012 when Sport Chalet first announced it was opening in Downtown LA, it was a much different place here. Although I don’t think we’re anywhere close to being a downtown that has “everything,” we have definitely come a long way over the last four years. We now have Whole Foods, Target, Zara, H&M, and other large businesses that we thought at one point were impossible to lure downtown.
Sport Chalet will leave behind a 27,000 square foot space that will eventually be filled again with another retailer. This is an exciting opportunity for downtown as we don’t have very many large commercial retail spaces like this in the Financial District, so it’s going to be very interesting to see who Brookfield — the owner of FIGat7th — decides to lease the space to.
As a resident of Downtown LA who still has to travel outside of downtown frequently to shop and run errands (usually heading to a retail hub like Pasadena), I have a few favorite retailers on my wishlist that I would love to see replace Sport Chalet at FIGat7th:
1) Bed Bath & Beyond — This is a store that has just about everything for your home that you could want from the kitchen to the living room to the bedroom to the bathroom. I love the gadgets and gizmos you’ll find at this store, which almost reminds me a little bit of a bigger version of Brookstone. This, I think, could be very complementary with Target upstairs.
2) Best Buy — Best Buy could also be very complementary with Target (think West Hollywood’s Gateway). The largest electronics retailer in the country has been doing better recently (when many thought Amazon.com would pretty much kill it) thanks in part to the expansion of the Geek Squad. As a gadget geek, I personally love shopping at Best Buy because I like experiencing the electronics I’m going to buy in person. And in case you didn’t know, Best Buy offers PRICE MATCHING, so yes, they will match Amazon.com and other retailers on the same product. This would obviously be a much smaller version of Best Buy since most of their stores range in size between 35,000 to 45,000 square feet, but perhaps they can make a smaller urban location work?
3) Nordstrom Rack — Okay, you can also insert Marshalls/T.J. Maxx in here as well. Basically, people love their discount big box fashion retailers offering “designer labels for less,” which could be a huge draw for those looking to shop on a Saturday afternoon — something we need more of here in Downtown LA. This would be very complementary to H&M and Zara upstairs.
So these are just a few of my favorite picks.
What would you like to see replace the 27,000 square foot space Sport Chalet will leave behind at FIGat7th?