downtown los angeles, financial district
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What Should Replace Shuttering Sport Chalet in Downtown LA?

FIGat7th has become an important shopping destination in Downtown LA, so it's an important question to ask what should replace Sport Chalet when it closes this year?

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?

38 Comments

  1. David says

    1. Bed Bath & Beyond
    2. World Market
    3. William Sonoma
    4. Pottery Barn
    5. Front Runners / Foot Locker / Famous Footware / Finish Line

    (All of these suggestions are made without really having a great understanding of whether this particular space/square footage is suitable for the above brands/stores)

  2. Jake says

    Bed Bath & Beyond
    Best Buy
    Crate / Pottery / William Sonoma

    *NO more VS outposts* is my supreme wish.

  3. Adam says

    What about Trader Joe’s? They can never seem to find the right space, this seems like a good option….

    • Shahbaz says

      I second this… TJ’s couldn’t find a better spot if it hit them in the face. And DTLA residents will welcome this clean/safe/bustling location!!!

      • Clean and safe is a commodity in DTLA! I DO like shopping at Fig 7th because you don’t have to be bothered by the bums with their relentless panhandling. They live in front of Ralph’s and even see them at Bottega Louie way too many times………………………If it were up to me, I’d want a FRY’s Electronic store (there’s one in Burbank I go to).

  4. Asim Bharwani says

    TJMaxx would make the most sense. There was one before the Bloc went under development, a return to this staple location is an obvious choice — unless there is an agreement to return to Bloc, but I never read anything that would make that move obvious.

  5. Scott Aguiar says

    Nike Store? 27,000 SF is too small for a Best Buy, TJ Maxx, BB&B or Nordstrom Rack. They have all tried including Target and Walmart to open smaller stores and they usually don’t last too long due to size.

    I would think a athletic store such as Nike or Finishline will be a good fit considering what it will replace.

  6. Paul wright says

    An REI would be perfect. They have a big flagship store in dt Seattle. And they have great merchandise. Stores like TJ Maxx should not be considered at all. Total junk.

  7. sebstian says

    I would love to see a City Ikea store, pretty much everything they sell there is for young urban people not to mention their furniture for lofts and small spaces. This is a no brainer.

    • Jake says

      Oh, yes – that is a good one. I’d give all the current stores (plus the new space) over there for Ikea.

    • Oscar Gake says

      This space is way to small for Ikea. Even for a smaller urban Ikea. The first Ikea in the US in Burbank was 242,000 sq. ft. and the new one in Burbank will be 456,000. If they were to make an urban store I think it would be around 150,000 sq ft.

  8. B.Lynn says

    1. IKEA
    2. Nordstrom Rack
    (not same as Marshalls!)
    …but given the SF available, REI would be perfect.

  9. Deepak says

    I think Urban Home could do well here, but like another poster mentioned, Ikea could be good as well.

    I really like the Nordstrom Rack idea too. Though Nordstrom, as a company, is not doing too well right now. They’re supposedly laying off 400 or so at their headquarters.

    • JDRCRASHER says

      I’d rather see an actual legit “Nordstrom” somewhere like in South Park at one of the fancier new developments like Oceanwide or Hazens.

  10. JDRCRASHER says

    Pier 1 Imports? Don’t here people bring them up too often.

    As Downtown’s population closes in to 100,000, at some point I think putting in another grocery store like Sprouts somewhere in Downtown would be nice, although maybe Arts District would probably be a better fit than this area.

  11. James Hoyt-McDaniels says

    Bed, Bath, and Beyond would be perfect! I don’t shop there, but it makes lot’s of sense.

  12. BB&B would be hard to resist. I would love to see REI or Dick’s there…having a true sporting goods store in DTLA has been fantastic.

  13. Holder says

    A huge choice hasn’t been mentioned, and one that would fit really well there, an Apple Store.

  14. Han says

    Everyone thinking of the same corporate chains. Best Buy? Please. How about thinking outside the box? Dean and DeLuca, Eataly, Bay Cities Deli, Portos

    • David says

      Han, all of those are great ideas and would be wonderful for downtown but I’m not sure that particular location is right for those upscale brands. Fig&7th is a great shopping environment and a great location but that particular spot within the shopping center does not have high visibility, even from the main level (Target) it doesn’t have great visibility. For that reason I think this particular spot will be more attractive to the “necessity brands”, not so much the luxury brands like BB&B and Best Buy, even Trader Joe’s. Perhaps Eatily, D&D, Portos would be better options for The Bloc or 801 Broadway’s (the old May Co building) where they will have better visitibiliy and a greater ability to show off their high end storefronts. Another poster had mentioned Apple…again Apple generally goes for high profile locations that let them showcase their brand. But again, I think those are all great options that would be welcome and add to our evolving Downtown!

    • corner soul says

      Agreed… or how about splitting up the space into a pop-up area with dozens of local boutiques and mom and pop operations (keep the money local) instead of always sucking at the corporate teet?

    • Trainline says

      My thoughts exactly…ugh, all of these boring typical corporate stores that you see in every single mall or suburb. bed bath and beyond?!? Yawn… REI or Dicks sounds good. dean and deluca, cool… But practical?

      • Jared says

        That is the most naïve thing you could possibly say. The American economic model shifted to a suburban paradigm long ago. Just because it’s a “chain store” that happens to operate in the suburbs (because, well you know, that’s where people fucking live???) doesn’t inherently mean it’s bad. If it offers valuable items for sale that people find useful I’m all for it.

  15. Bob D says

    Unlike Target, the Sports Chalet location would allow for larger purchases if they permit customers to take their shopping carts to the parking lot (Target customers cannot take carts out of the store because of 2nd floor location). Parking access and S.C. space are both on the same level. There are not many 27,000 sq. ft. retail spaces in DTLA with fairly accessible parking, so they should choose wisely.

  16. Linkin says

    I think another retailer like Top Shop or UNIQLO. Either those two or go with Dick’s Sporting Goods because it’s complimentary with the gym across the hall.

  17. DTLA Resident says

    TRADER JOES!
    It would bring so much foot traffic to fig and 7th and we need one in DTLA

    It better not be a bed, bath, and beyond, best buy, or some other waste of retail space where you can go online and find it cheaper.

  18. Jason PG says

    Would be nice to have one locally started franchise, Sport Chalet be replaced with another locally started franchise, Trader Joes; and it would make grocery shopping after the gym do damn convenient. =D

  19. Josh Sarvinski says

    Instead of thinking retail, why not creat a space that adds nightlife to the center and keeps people around a bit longer? I think its possible to fit a small bowling alley there with a small bar and restaurant towards the front with thw bowling lanes going towards the far back wall.

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