< Harvest info goes here >

Renée C. Byer / Bee file, 2009

Westfield's Downtown Plaza has seen its tenants and shoppers decline in number over several years.

Longtime tenant Brookstone leaves Downtown Plaza

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 - 8:09 am

Sacramento's Downtown Plaza shopping complex will bid farewell to yet another retail tenant when its Brookstone store closes for good at the end of business today.

The imminent closing was confirmed Wednesday by store personnel and in-store signage. Items in the store are deeply discounted.

The New Hampshire-based Brookstone chain offers a wide variety of merchandise, from electronic gadgets to in-home staples to personal massagers. Launched in 1965, Brookstone operates more than 300 stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Brookstone was one of the original tenants of Downtown Plaza's grand reopening back in 1993, following an extensive $157 million renovation of the mall.

At the time, the plaza's Brookstone store was the retail chain's 112th outlet.

A lot has changed since then, with Downtown Plaza suffering mightily during the recession. Departing tenants have left stretches of empty store space.

Just last week, the Gap and its sister store, Gap Kids, announced that they would be leaving Downtown Plaza, part of a previously announced nationwide downsizing.

With Brookstone's closure, Downtown Plaza will have more than 20 vacancies, and city officials say revenue fell 33 percent from 2005 to 2011.

Attempts to get comment from Brookstone headquarters and plaza owner JMA Ventures were unsuccessful.

In August, JMA – the San Francisco-based lifestyle and entertainment company that owns ski resorts, restaurants and upscale time shares – bought Downtown Plaza from Westfield Corp. for the bargain price of $22 million.

Since then, JMA said it has been in talks with various experts on the plaza's future and likely transformation. JMA President Todd Chapman has steadfastly maintained that he wants to "rebuild trust" in the community and make the site a prime urban destination.

JMA also surfaced in the ongoing Sacramento Kings drama, with the Downtown Plaza site envisioned as a possible sports and entertainment complex, featuring a modern arena.

Last week, JMA said it had commissioned an arena feasibility study by AECOM, an architecture-engineering firm that has designed several NBA venues. The study showed an arena could be built on the mall site.

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