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Brooks Brothers to open new store in La Jolla

The Gaines Building at 1055 Wall St. on the corner of Hershel Avenue is vacant no more.

Tenantless since Saks Fifth Avenue left in the first quarter of 2005, because it was among 11 underperforming stores nationwide in the high-end department store chain, landlord Madison Marquette has announced apparel retailer Brooks Brothers has leased nearly 14,000 square feet for a flagship store in the ground floor of the prime corner Village building. Stephen Stephanou handled the deal in-house for Madison Marquette. Brooks Brothers was self-represented.

Analysts back in early 2005 had said the Birmingham, Ala.-based Saks, which operates nearly 390 stores nationwide, needed to trim down after years of overly ambitious growth.

Kelley Maher, vice president of leasing for Madison Marquette’s San Diego office, said Brooks Brothers has signed a long-term lease for a portion of The Gaines Building.

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“They’re going to take close to 14,000 square feet on the first floor,” said Maher, who added New York-based Brooks Brothers recently closed a store in Fashion Valley. She said the retailer will have men’s and women’s departments, as well as a new prototype section called Country Club.

Maher added Brooks Brothers has scheduled a November 2008 opening in The Gaines Building, which has 247 underground parking spaces.

“They’re (Brooks) very excited to come,” said Maher. “This will be their only flagship store in San Diego.”

The closest Brooks Brothers flagship store in Southern California is in South Coast Plaza in Orange County.

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Reportedly, the building has remained vacant the past three years because a sole tenant was being sought to occupy the two-story building. Now that Brooks Brothers has signed on to anchor the building, Maher added that may help in attracting another tenant. “With Brooks Brothers taking the majority of the first floor,” she said, “it will lead to some exciting co-tenant possibilities.”

The 46,500-square-foot retail Gaines building was built in 1981 at the southeast corner of Wall Street and Herschel Avenue. Nearby retailers include Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Tommy Bahama and Victoria’s Secret.

The closure of its store in 2005 was the second time around for Saks in the Jewel. Saks closed its first La Jolla store in the Village in 1994, after operating there since 1963. It reopened a second time in La Jolla in 1997.

Maher of Madison Marquette said Saks’ lease, which started in 1997, runs until January 2018.

Brooks Brothers, marketed as the country’s oldest clothing retailer, has prided itself through the years on maintaining its presence in the ever-evolving world of fashion.

In the new millennium, Brooks Brothers continues to uphold the same traditions and values that made a name for it during its first century of existence. The company was sounfed on April 7, 1818, by 45-year-old Henry Sands Brooks, who opened H. & D.H.Brooks & Co. on the Northeast corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in New York City. His guiding principle was, “To make and deal only in merchandise of the finest quality, to sell it at a fair profit and to deal with people who seek and appreciate such merchandise.”