Big changes are afoot at the Durango Mall.
Bealls will close, and the space is being expanded and prepared for Sports Authority, an Englewood-based sporting goods chain, Jessica Dombrowski-Yizar, the Durango Mall manager, said.
The expansion is about 7,500 square feet, bringing the total store size to 28,000 square feet, Dombrowski-Yizar said.
“The mall is excited that Sports Authority will be opening in Durango and has chosen to locate at Durango Mall,” Dombrowski-Yizar said. “Sports Authority has its roots in Colorado, and its business focus matches the active lifestyle of the Durango community.”
Nicol Killian, senior planner with the city, said the Durango Mall submitted a building permit for the construction of an addition behind Bealls last year.
Another change is the arrival of department store T.J. Maxx, which is slated to open its doors March 25.
T.J. Maxx is a multi-brand department store featuring deals from designers for men, women and children as well as home accessories.
The store will occupy a 24,000-square-foot space next to Bed, Bath & Beyond and Pier 1 Imports.
Although Bealls is leaving the Durango Mall, it will remain open in its other locations, including in Cortez.
Bealls will remain open at the Durango Mall until Sports Authority moves in, Dombrowski-Yizar said.
No dates on the closure of Bealls or the opening of Sports Authority have been released at this time.
The arrival of two new big-box stores comes as the city has been proceeding with plans to provide infrastructure for additional chains, including possibly a Target, near Mercy Regional Medical Center in Grandview.
Although plans are advancing, no specific agreements have been reached.
City officials have argued that expanding the big-box offerings in Durango will prevent “retail leakage,” which occurs when shoppers travel to outside retail centers such as Farmington for many purchases. The result is a loss of sales-tax revenue and ancillary spending at local eateries and other businesses.
Various local businesses, however, have argued that the chains will undercut their prices and force them out of business.