Planning commission OKs Sports Authority plans
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 25, 2013 | 4787 views | 10 10 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sports Authority officials received unanimous approval Wednesday, Oct. 23, from the Tracy Planning Commission for their façade plans for a future West Valley Mall location.

The planning commission voted 5-0 to approve façade plans submitted by Sports Authority representatives to make minor changes to the building at 3150 Naglee Road. Sports Authority will replace Barnes & Noble Booksellers, which closes Dec. 31, according to store officials.

The two main changes are resurfacing the main western entry with rust orange stucco and paneling and expanding the existing loading dock on the southeast corner of the building to accommodate larger delivery trucks, according to Victoria Lombardo, senior planner for the city of Tracy.

Lombardo told the commissioners Wednesday that the changes meet city design goals and standards and that the city staff recommended approving them.

Commissioner Joseph Orcutt motioned to approve the plan, which was seconded by Commissioner Rhodesia Ransom before the board voted unanimously in favor.

Before the vote, a couple of the commissioners expressed concerns about the plans, but no one representing Sports Authority had attended the meeting.

“I’m surprised the applicant isn’t here,” Commissioner Alfred Johnson said, noting that he was uncertain about the loading dock.

A similar concern was expressed by Orcutt.

Lombardo reminded the board that JCPenney trucks deliver in the same area, and they have done so without incident. She also said deliveries would likely be made in the hours before the mall opens, which is the procedure followed by other mall stores.

Ransom asked Lombardo when Sports Authority officials planned to start construction, and she said the date hasn’t been disclosed, but it would likely be shortly after Barnes & Noble closed its doors.

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s meeting, commission chairwoman Jass Sangha said she would have preferred to keep Barnes & Noble in the West Valley Mall, but she said she would still welcome the sporting goods business to Tracy.

She was not pleased that Sports Authority didn’t send a spokesman to the meeting.

“I’m a little surprised they didn’t have representatives (at the meeting),” Sangha said. “Getting answers straight from the source is the best way to get answers. We know the outside; I want to know what the inside looks like.”

The next step in the Sports Authority application process is seeking approval of the façade plans from the Tracy City Council, Sangha said.

Barnes & Noble opened in Tracy in 2002. According to a corporate official, plans are underway to close the Tracy store on Dec. 31, which was confirmed by an employee at the store on Wednesday.

When asked if city officials anticipated the sporting goods store to produce tax revenue similar to the bookstore, city Finance Director Jenny Haruyama said Barnes & Noble was among the top 100 tax revenue producers for Tracy, and she anticipated the same success for the Sports Authority.

•Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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November 20, 2013
Who appointed Jass Sangha as the chairperson to the commission? What experience does she have in planning?
November 21, 2013

I believe th commissioners do th appointment by majority vote. At least that's th way other commissions in town do it every year. With no insult intended it's about yer last question is just about th same as someone askin ya what experience do ya have in writin or askin what experience do th rest of th commissioners have in plannin? Commissions, generally speakin, are usually appointed by a governmental authority, such as a City Council an are selected frum interested citizens frum all walks of life who have applied fer th position. Thair is an interview process by which applicants are selected an, in th commission meetin, th commissioners usually rotate th chair annually by a majority vote of th commission.

If th commission is formed by th electorial process, unless a chair is also elected by th public vote, th chair is normally selected by th commissioners by th majority vote of th commission. Qualifications fer th voted office are reviewed by th voters themselves.

Hope this answers yer question on commissions.
October 31, 2013
"We're all slightly more stupid now." I'm with Bird, speak for yourself.

Also, "and now we all suffer".

Can you please provide your empirical data to support this assertion?

October 30, 2013
On one hand. With B&N closing 15 stores a year this was probably inevitable. I hope these people find other jobs. See more later.

On the other hand. Having a sports authority store does sound nice because it would be convenient to purchase sporting goods for the children locally. I hope the people looking for jobs can somehow transfer their skills there?

October 27, 2013
I think Amazon should build a small retail bookstore on site that we can all go to. I loved going to Barnes and Noble and I am very disappointed they are leaving. If I needed a quick book for my kids at school I could run down and get one and not have to wait for Amazon in the mail. I do like Sports Authority but they will now put Big 5 out of business also. So in a sense they have ousted Barnes and Noble and Big 5. Is this better? idk....we will see.
October 26, 2013
Hey Bill,

Maybe YOU are "more stupid now" but the only person you can speak for is YOU.

I, like many others here in town, read everyday. I have hundreds of books on my kindle. I have automated newspaper deliver to my kindle. Sure they are not the "Tracy Press" but there are still a few others out there that offer this service. And, my kindle permits web access to get current and breaking news from around the world depending on the website.

I knew B&N was going a long time ago and not just the Tracy store. Watch, the whole company will collapse because they cannot make the shift to today's customer's needs. Computers Bill... Blame it all on the computers.
October 25, 2013
A city of 80,000 residents and not a single bookstore as of January 1st. We're all slightly more stupid now. Thanks West Valley Mall management for failing the city. You couldn't reach a deal with B&N on a new lease and now we all suffer.
October 25, 2013
B&N, even with a new lease, would not be long for that space anyway. Amazon, (now with a location in Tracy) is a much better bookstore for most people to buy books. I liked walking through B&N and seeing what is on the shelf, but I found out years ago, that I could get the same book that had the same words and same cover at Amazon for quite a bit less and I could therefore buy even more books. Now with e-readers the brick and mortar bookstore is even more of a lost cause. I hate it for the people that worked in the store, but like a lot of jobs people once had, the internet and E-retailers have changed the way we shop and buy. I don't see how this makes us any more stupid.
October 26, 2013
I highly doubt this was the mall's fault. Barnes & Noble is downsizing and getting rid of stores that don't perform. If people don't support the bookstore, then why have the bookstore? If the business was there, they would have stayed.
November 21, 2013

Hopefully yer aware of a pretty good public library in town that lets ya check out books ta read fer free. That way, at least, ya won't run th risk of bein slightly more stupid.

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