Changes afoot at Air­port Square in Mont­gomery Town­ship

North Penn Life - - Obituaries - By Michael Alan Gold­berg mgold­berg@jour­nalregis­ter. com

Big changes are hap­pen­ing in and around the Air­port Square Shop­ping Cen­ter along Route 309 in Mont­gomery Town­ship, with two prom­i­nent na­tional chains ar­riv­ing soon and an­other store hav­ing sud­denly de­parted.

A Sports Author­ity sport­ing goods store is mov­ing into the space at 801 Beth­le­hem Pike that for­merly housed Bor­ders Books and Mu­sic, which closed in Septem­ber 2011 when the en­tire chain was liq­ui­dated. Ac­cord­ing to Mont­gomery Town­ship Plan­ning and won­ing Di­rec­tor Bruce Shoupe, con­struc­tion crews be­gan work­ing on the in­te­rior just af­ter Jan. 1, once all the nec­es­sary per­mits were ob­tained.

Shoupe said the chain is con­vert­ing the space to two flRRUs Dnd Dd­dLnJ Dn HsFDOD­tor. Work is ex­pected to take a few months, and the store is slated to open some­time Ln ODWH sSULnJ, SHndLnJ finDO in­spec­tions.

The nearby Sports Author­ity lo­ca­tion at the Water Tower Square Shop­ping Cen­ter off Hor­sham Road will close in con­junc­tion with the open­ing of the new lo­ca­tion, although ac­cord­ing to one store em­ployee who de­clined to give his name, that clo­sure date has yet to be an­nounced.

Sports Author­ity, head­quar­tered in Colorado, is one of the coun­try’s largest sport­ing goods chains, op­er­at­ing 450 stores in 45 states. It sells men’s and women’s sports ap­parel Dnd sKRHs, fiWnHss HTuLS­ment such as tread­mills and weights, team sports equip­ment, bi­cy­cles, golf clubs, skis and snow­boards, camp­ing and hik­ing gear, and more.

“We knew even­tu­ally some­thing would hap­pen with that space where Bor­ders used to be, and a Sports Author­ity there is go­ing to be a very good ad­di­tion,” said Shoupe.

Work is also about to be­gin at the former Friendly’s lo­ca­tion at 27 Air­port Square, which is be­ing turned into a BRnH­fisK GU­LOO sHDIRRd UHs­tau­rant. Shoupe, who said that a pa­tio is be­ing built just out­side the premises, ex­pects the restau­rant to open some­time in the spring as well.

“7KH BRnH­fisK GU­LOO chain is really mak­ing a big push into this en­tire area, and they’re also a very wel­come ad­di­tion,” said Shoupe.

BRnH­fisK GU­LOO Ls SDUW RI OSI Restau­rant Part­ners — which also op­er­ates Out­back Steak­house and CDUUDbbD’s ,WDOLDn GU­LOO, among other “up­scale ca­sual din­ing” restau­rants — and earned “Top Over­all” restau­rant hon­ors in wa­gat’s 2011 Na­tional Chain Restau­rants Sur­vey. The Friendly’s restau­rant, which had op­er­ated at the lo­ca­tion for decades, closed its doors Dec. 29.

Mean­while, as of last week there is one less store in the shop­ping cen­ter: Dog­gie Style, part of a small chain of pet bou­tiques head­quar­tered in Philadel­phia, closed sud­denly Jan. 6. Two days later, sev­eral em­ploy­ees were seen clean­ing out the store at 20 Air­port Square, but de­clined to com­ment on why it had closed.

Sev­eral calls and emails to Dog­gie Style’s main of­fice at 315 Mar­ket Street in Philadel­phia were not re­turned.

Shoupe said the town­ship was also un­aware of the rea­son for the clo­sure but was look­ing into it, adding that he ex­pected a new store would go into the va­cated space in the “near fu­ture,” as it’s “a very de­sir­able lo­ca­tion in a ma­jor shop­ping cor­ri­dor.”

Photo by GE­OFF PAT­TON

Crews work on the fa­cade of the Sports Author­ity slated for an open­ing in the Air­port Square shop­ping cen­ter in Mont­gomery Town­ship.

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