Old Navy and Ulta Beauty, popular national retailers with locations in north and northeast Colorado Springs, are expanding to the city’s southwest side.

The clothier and beauty store chain will open their third locations next year at the Broadmoor Towne Center, sharing leased space in a free-standing building that housed a Sports Authority store. The shopping center, northeast of Nevada and Lake avenues, also is home to Sears, Home Depot, PetSmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond and several other stores and restaurants.

Old Navy, a division of Gap Inc., the San Francisco-based casual apparel chain, will take 13,300 square feet of the building, said Dan Rodriguez, a commercial broker with the Springs office of national real estate firm CBRE who marketed the former Sports Authority space for its out-of-state owner. Ulta, based in suburban Chicago, will occupy nearly 11,700 square feet.

The retailers are expected to open in late spring or early summer of 2019, and interior demolition of the building is underway, Rodriguez said. Old Navy has stores in the Chapel Hill East and Barnes Marketplace shopping centers, while Ulta has locations at the Promenade Shops at Briargate and the First & Main Town Center.

Their expansions signal that national retailers continue to be bullish on Colorado Springs’ economy and quality of life, Rodriguez said. U.S. News & World Report named the Springs the nation’s most desirable place to live; its housing market has been among the country’s hottest; and the city’s millennial population — coveted by retailers — grew faster over a five-year stretch earlier this decade than that of any other community, according to the Brookings Institution.

Along with Old Navy and Ulta Beauty bringing a presence to the southwest side, filling the former Sports Authority space is important for the Broadmoor Towne Center, Rodriguez said. Sports Authority went out of business in mid-2016; Borders Books & Music, another defunct retailer, had occupied the space before Sports Authority.

“For a box (retail space) to sit open like that in a shopping center for too long kind of gives it a black eye, and people can start to wonder about the overall health and viability of the center,” Rodriguez said. “So it’s important to get those filled as quickly as possible.”

Even though the space had been vacant two years, it got plenty of interest, Rodriguez said. Sprouts Farmers Market, the natural and organic grocery, almost took the space but pulled back because it already was adding two other stores in the market, he said. T.J. Maxx, meanwhile, also considered opening a Marshalls clothing store at the site.

“There was never a period of time where we just didn’t have interest or weren’t working on something,” Rodriguez said. “We were able to make these two work.”

Neither Old Navy nor Ulta could be reached for comment. Christopher Burton of commercial brokerage Legend Partners in Denver represented Old Navy in its lease, while John Liprando of SullivanHayes in Greenwood Village represented Ulta Beauty.

Business writer, Colorado Springs Gazette

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