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LAUDERDALE LAKES, FL-Sports Authority Inc. principals know a good deal when they see one and the best deal they may make for their company’s current expansion mode is to remain where they are–in a 100,000-sf building here at $10 per-sf rent. The company’s decision will be made by year end. Lauderdale Lakes is 35 miles north of Downtown Miami.

To date, the 10-year-old sports and fitness store operator has narrowed its search to three properties. They are the 188,000-sf Cypress Creek Telecom Center on Cypress Creek Road in Fort Lauderdale; the 650,000-sf Sawgrass Technology Park in Sunrise, FL, both owned by Miami-based America’s Capital Partners; and the 136,341-sf National Council on Compensation Insurance Building being vacated in December at Arvida Park of Commerce in nearby Boca Raton, FL.

Sports Authority may get sticker shock when it studies current rents at the three structures. Cypress Creek Telecom Center’s asking average rent is $19.50 per sf; Sawgrass Technology Park, $17 per sf; and the NCCI Building, $21.50 per sf.

If the company’s prior space-scounting record counts for anything, area brokers are betting Sports Authority will decide to remain at its existing home, a former Builder’s Square facility at State Road 7 and Oakland Park Boulevard in Lauderdale Lakes. Sports Authority killed two pending relocation deals in 1997. One was to move into sub-leased space at Office Depot’s Delray Beach, FL headquarters. The other was the construction of a new 100,000 sf building near its existing site.

The company’s corporate staff has grown from 15 initially to 560. Company-wide, there are 2,000 employees. The store count is 200. The company’s common stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange at around $1.88 per share, down from a 52-week high of $3.62.

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