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Modell's Sporting Goods, including store across from Barclays Center, in last days, with liquidation sale

Modell's Sporting Goods has been in bankruptcy since winter and, according to its web site, all stores close Sunday, including that at Site 5 across Flatbush Avenue from the Barclays Center, also bounded by Pacific Street, Fourth Avenue, and Atlantic Avenue.

Photos taking in the past week show signs indicating "up to 90% off" and "final days," with not just goods but fixtures for sale.

Note that the closure may not be precisely Sunday, since a visitor was told it could be early next week. The liquidation sale that started in March was once supposed to take up to seven weeks, but obviously took longer.

Modell's, operating since the early 1990s at what was officially called "The Shops at Atlantic Center" (and dubbed Site 5 because of the location in the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area) surely expected that its location across from the arena would drive purchases of sports goods and apparel.

Presumably it did, but also faced competition from the more expensive, more exclusive store (aka Swag Shop) occupying the Flatbush Avenue flank of the arena.

Site 5 slowdown

As I wrote in March, Modell's was a tenant of original developer Forest City Ratner, and thus could not object to plans to build on that site: as approved in 2006, a 250-foot building with nearly 440,000 square feet or, as floated since 2016, a giant two-tower project that would incorporate bulk from the unbuilt B1 tower planned for what is now the arena plaza.

One roadblock for now is P.C. Richard, which owns its store and was awarded, in a lower court decision, promised replacement space in the future tower. That case is under appeal. Separately, P.C. Richard has moved to block the state's exercise of eminent domain. I'll have an update on that soon.

But even if/when that's resolved, there's no market for a ground-up office building at Site 5, as long promoted, likely until a vaccine emerges.

So the future of the empty store is unclear--perhaps it could be used as a pop-up.

Bye-bye, Modell's

Modell's was founded in 1889 and operates in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, with well over 100 stores. In previous reports. CEO Mitchell Modell blamed the final decision on an unusually warm winter, online competition, and the coronavirus, as well as low-performing local teams.


  1. Both buildings should be razed and a public park / green space out there. Would go a long way to helping alleviate the absolute shit show awfulness that is Times Plaza with Atlantic / Flatbush chaos.


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