Business & Real Estate

Sports Basement to sell its downtown Sacramento building

Bay Area retailer Sports Basement is putting its downtown Sacramento property on the market but has not ruled out opening a store here, officials said this week.

Ken Turton, the company’s broker, said Sports Basement faced high costs in improving the building it acquired from the city at 730 I St. and also was hit by lower sales of ski equipment due to four years of drought.

“Unfortunately, Mother Nature has not cooperated in the Sports Basement’s plans,” Turton said in a news release. The release said Turton will issue a “call for offers” for the property with a Dec. 4 deadline.

Over the past year, the company sought to find a joint venture partner that would acquire the building, make the costly building improvements that are required and then lease it back to Sports Basement, said Turton, head of Turton Commercial Real Estate of Sacramento.

The company was able to find one possible partner but has now opted to evaluate offers from buyers, according to the news release.

“If the right offer is made, they will sell the property,” the release stated.

But Turton emphasized that the company could still end up in the building as a tenant, a partner in a joint venture or even as the building’s outright owner if its financial outlook improves.

Asked what could make that happen, Turton said: “A great winter.”

Dave Rumberg, a Sports Basement partner, said in a prepared statement that he will be will be “heartbroken if we are unable to open a store at this location.

“I love Sacramento, and we really wanted a store there and at this specific location,” he said. “I truly hate the thought of selling it. Unfortunately it is not about desire, it is about timing.”

Sports Basement originally agreed to buy the three-story, 70,000-square-foot building from Sacramento County in 2011 for $4.5 million. As part of that deal, the county sold the building to the city, which in turn sold it to the retailer in September of last year.

The deal was seen as a huge step in long-term efforts to lure major retailers to the downtown core.

Sports Basement operates six stores, all of them in the Bay Area.