Ashley Furniture To Fill Void Left By Borders’ Departure From Montclair

MONTCLAIR – The 42,000-square foot vacancy in the building that formerly housed the Borders bookstore adjacent to the Montclair Plaza will soon be filled with a replacement tenant, Ashley Furniture Homestore.
Ashley is tentatively scheduled to take up occupancy there as early as April, according to city officials and corporate officers with Progressive Real Estate Partners, which served as a broker on the property. The move comes nearly 19 months after Ashley began negotiations for the purchase of the building, shortly after the Borders chain made wholesale closures of its outlets nationwide in April 2011.
According to information provided to the Sentinel, Ashley purchased the building outright and signed a long term lease for the property.
The development represents a considerable coup for Montclair. The vacancy in the big box represented a considerable blow to Montclair’s prestige and a further erosion of the ambience around Montclair Plaza, which for decades had been the premier shopping location in San Bernardino County, generating considerable sales tax revenue in Montclair, one of the smaller cities in the county land-wise. Over the last decade, however, Montclair Plaza’s cachet as a popular shopping destination has slipped, as it has been eclipsed by The Mills in Ontario, Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga and The Shoppes at Chino Hills.
The downturn in the local, state and national economy over the last five years has taken its toll on Montclair and its plaza as well.
For a time, it seemed that Ashley was going to pass on the opportunity to locate in Montclair, but the site offered several advantages the company in the end was unable to resist, the foremost of which included its proximity to, along with visibility and easy access from, the 10 Freeway.
Based upon an understanding and mutual interest with the city, the company is proceeding with preparations for interior tenant improvements at the location that have yet to be fully vetted and approved by the Montclair Planning Commission. Conceptual plans for what the company envisions have been shared with the city’s planning division, which provided a provisional okay for internal demolition work in the building that is now proceeding.
The remodel plans are in the final stages of preparation and will be submitted to the city soon. It is anticipated that approval of the makeover project in its entirety will come by the end of this month or in early February.
Those plans should segue into and complement work to be done in converting the plaza’s now shuttered Broadway/Macy’s building into a lifestyle center, which is to feature restaurants and smaller shops and retail outlets.

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