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