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Sports Page readies for relocation, expansion at Marshall Town Center

New features include basketball court, coach’s lounge

November 22, 2012
By MIKE DONAHEY - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Veteran Marshalltown businessman and Sports Page owner Todd Thimesch believes bigger is better.

So does Ken Huge, General Manager of the Marshall Town Center.

Thimesch and Huge announced Tuesday the Sports Page, a long-time tenant, will be expanding and relocating within the mall.

Article Photos

Todd Thimesch, left, of Marshalltown is shown talking to Gary Stevens also of Marshalltown, at the Marshall Town Center Tuesday morning. Thimesch is owner of the Sports Page which will be moving and expanding within the shopping center to a new location across from Mama DiGrado’s Restaurant. Stevens was working in a room in the new locale. He is employed by Hay Construction of Marshalltown.

The new home will be near the shopping center's entrance and across from Mama DiGrado's restaurant.

The locale will give Thimesch and staff twice as much floor space for inventory and installation of new features - including a basketball court and coach's lounge.

"I wanted to create a fun, interactive store for our customers and coaches that will effectively meet their needs," Thimesch said. "There will be a larger selection and better merchandising for easier shopping. The indoor basketball court will be fun for kids and an area for athletes and others to test our footwear."

Thimesch was also excited about the coach's lounge.

"We are excited about the lounge, which will allow coaches and staff to comfortably look at uniforms and other supplies," Thimesch said. "Our current location made ordering and doing business more challenging."

Thimesch called the move exciting and a "win-win" for his business, customers and MTC.

He said he is planning a "soft opening" late next week and a grand opening Dec. 1.

Additionally, the store will have two store entrances - one exterior, facing the mall parking lot, and another inside, will help staff better serve customers.

The current Sports Page space will be renamed "Sports Page Express" and will be open through the end of the year.

Huge said he was extremely pleased a deal could be struck with Thimesch.

"We could not be happier to work with Todd and staff to help Sports Page expand in order to better serve our customers," he said. "Sports Page is literally synonymous with MTC. It was our goal to maintain that relationship for the community as well as the shopping center."

Thimesch complimented the mall ownership, its management group, the Lerner Co., and Huge for being flexible and making the expansion project a reality.

He also has faith the mall's future will be brighter.

"I believe the Lerner Co. is the right group to improve the mall," he said. "And, they wisely hired the talented Huge and Susan Krough to market the center."

Thimesch said he "was going out on a limb" with the expansion and urged consumers in the Marshalltown area to give the mall a chance.

"It will take the community's support to revive retail businesses not only at MTC, but downtown and elsewhere," he said. "I am asked every day about the vacant Menards spot (at MTC) but we know the mall team is working hard to fill it. Regardless, I am delighted Menards was confident in our community to build the new Menards - it is the largest in the state and they hired 75 more central Iowans to work there. The new Alliant gas plant, Dunkin' Donuts, and other developments in the Marshalltown area mean others are investing in the community."

Thimesch praised a local contractor currently working on his project.

"The crew from Hay Construction of Marshalltown have given me prompt, professional and courteous service," Thimesch said. "They are working hard to help us be ready by Dec. 1."

Thimesch also owns Sports Page stores in Altoona, Ames and Pella.

MTC recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and is home to Younkers, JCPenney, Bath & Body Works, Kay Jewelers, and Plaza 9 Theaters among others.



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