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HAMDEN, CT-In a deal brokered by GVA Williams of Stamford, Modell’s Sporting Goods has signed a 15-year lease for 18,000 sf of space at the Marketplace shopping center here. The retailer plans opens today in the former Toy Works space at the Marketplace complex. The 13,500-sf store will be expanded to 18,000 sf by the summer of 2005, GVA Williams officials note.

Scott Lifschultz, executive vice president of GVA Williams, represented the property ownership, Alecta Real Estate Investment Management as well as the tenant, Modell’s Sporting Goods. GVA Williams, which represents Modell’s in Connecticut, reports that the sports retailer plans to open another five to eight new stores in the next two years in the Nutmeg State. Some of the locations being considered include Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury and Manchester.

The lease in Hamden is the second transaction completed for Modell’s by GVA Williams in Connecticut. Modell’s opened a store in Bridgeport in November 2003. The Marketplace shopping center is located in the heart of Route 10/Dixwell Ave—the so called “Magic Mile” in Hamden. The 240,000-sf power center also features such retail tenants as Super Stop & Shop, Pier 1 Imports, Sears Hardware, Staples, TGI Fridays, TJ Maxx & More and Old Navy.

“The demographic make-up and rationality of the Dixwell ‘Magic Mile’ and the void in product selection and pricing that Modell’s offers made the Hamden location a natural fit for our store,” says Douglas A. Epstein, vice president/real estate for Modell’s Sporting Goods. Modell’s Sporting Goods and its affiliates operate more than 115 stores throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia.

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