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Dick’s Sporting Goods to Unveil House of Sport Concept at Tampa’s International Plaza



Dick's Sporting Goods to Unveil House of Sport Concept at Tampa's International Plaza

Dick’s Sporting Goods is transforming the former Life Time Fitness space at International Plaza into its innovative House of Sport concept. This concept merges traditional retail merchandise with interactive experiences such as rock climbing, golf simulation bays, and multisport cages where customers can test gear for sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse, and soccer.

Documents submitted for building permits include the House of Sport label. Back in April, it was initially reported by the Tampa Bay Business Journal that Dick’s was in negotiations with International Plaza’s ownership to relocate its store from WestShore Plaza. The move followed Life Time Fitness’s closure at International Plaza as they pursued their country club concept at the former Harbour Island Athletic Club location.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, a publicly traded company, has been emphasizing the financial potential of the House of Sport concept and its new 50,000-square-foot format. The company’s ambitious plan includes opening 75 to 100 House of Sport stores by 2027.

“We haven’t seen growth opportunities like these since we went public in the early 2000s,” Ed Stack, Dick’s executive chairman, said when the company reported quarterly earnings results in August.

A representative from WPG Inc., the owner of WestShore Plaza, deferred a comment request to Dick’s. As of Thursday, no representatives from Dick’s or Taubman Centers, the owner of International Plaza, were available for comments.

It’s worth noting that WPG owns the real estate where Dick’s is situated at WestShore Plaza. Dick’s initially opened its WestShore Plaza location in 2014, filling a vacant anchor space left by Saks Fifth Avenue. Dick’s potential departure from WestShore Plaza could present a mixed situation for WPG, especially considering their plans for mall redevelopment.

While WPG proceeds with their redevelopment proposals, including a recent rezoning request to incorporate medical uses and provide flexibility for the demolition of the enclosed mall, Dick’s relocation would grant the mall owner complete control over the southwest corner of the property. However, it might also pose short-term challenges, particularly if Dick’s (NYSE: DKS) closes before WPG is prepared to commence construction on the redevelopment. Many interior mall tenants have lease agreements that allow them to pay reduced rents if a major anchor store departs from the mall.