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DALLAS-After nine months of discussion, a 46,000-sf sublease has gotten a triple blessing to backfill a prime piece of retail space and bring a new name to the in-close Galleria submarket.

The Sports Authority Inc., the Englewood, CO-based owner of four sporting goods chains, has signed a long-term lease to fill Wickes Furniture Inc.’s space in the Best Buy Center at the northeast corner of LBJ Freeway and Midway Road. Brian Murphy with Dallas-based Staubach Co. tells GlobeSt.com that the opening, the only one in the 200,000-sf center, never really made it to market, with talks starting practically in sync with the space going dark in early 2003. The Sports Authority was one of three retailers chasing space cut loose by Seffner, FL-based Rooms to Go Inc.’s buyout of the Wheeling, IL-headquartered Wickes.

Besides Murphy, Staubach’s Michael Stern and Adam Schiller represented Wickes Furniture while Terry Syler, now with the Retail Connection in Dallas, negotiated for the Sports Authority and Best Buy Inc., the Minneapolis-headquartered master leaseholder, used in-house representatives for its stake in the deal. When it can be had, the going rate for the area’s retail space is $15 per sf or a shade more.

Murphy says Sports Authority is still mulling around which of its flags will fly, but more likely than not it will be Oshmans. The firm’s flags include Gart Sports, Sportsmart and the Sports Authority, none of which have a strong identity in the Dallas/Fort Worth marketplace. While there’s always room for a new name, key to the decision is the foothold as the only team sporting goods retailer within the immediate area so name identity to counter the neighboring Wal-Mart Supercenter undoubtedly will factor into the final call. Murphy says finish-out has begun for an opening within 60 days.

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