A Texas-based sporting goods retailer has teed up its entry into the Richmond area at a former toy store.
Academy Sports + Outdoors has leased the former Toys ‘R’ Us-Babies ‘R’ Us combo store at 11861 W. Broad St. in The Corner at Short Pump shopping center.
The chain has taken over the roughly 60,000-square-foot co-anchor space, which Toys ‘R’ Us vacated amid its bankruptcy in 2018.
Academy is expected to open there this fall, company spokesman Allan Rojas said in an email Thursday. It would be the company’s first location in Virginia.
Academy sells sports equipment and clothing, as well as gear for hunting, fishing and camping. It also offers services like grill and bike assembly and propane exchanges. People can also buy hunting and fishing licenses at Academy stores.
The company’s stores carry brands such as The North Face, Under Armour and Yeti in addition to private label brands Magellan Outdoors, O’Rageous and others.
The store will have about 60 employees.
Connie Jordan Nielsen of Thalhimer handled lease negotiations for the tenant. Alicia Brown and Nicki Jassy, also of Thalhimer, handled lease negotiations on behalf of the center’s owner Rebkee Co. Thalhimer announced the lease this week.
The Kroger-anchored shopping center is also home to Bassett Furniture, Gelati Celesti, which is expanding its ice cream shop there, as well as Clean Eatz restaurant and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Rebkee bought the center in 2011 and expanded it over the following several years. The building formerly occupied by Toys ‘R’ Us was built in 2012.
Academy currently has 259 stores in 16 states in the South, Midwest and Southeast. The company plans to open eight locations in 2022, including its first in West Virginia, Rojas said.
Its move into Short Pump is one of the largest retail leases in the area since Container Store and Arhaus took over a former HHGregg store in front Short Pump Town Center.