Gander Outdoors, the sporting goods retailer known as Gander Mountain before its recent purchase by celebrity businessman Marcus Lemonis, plans to move its headquarters from downtown St. Paul to Bloomington, at least for the short term.
Shortly after Lemonis acquired Gander this spring, he tweeted, “I want St. Paul headquarters to remain but costs have to come down.”
Gander currently has its offices at 180 East Fifth, a 13-story office building in Lowertown. The company plans to move into about 25,000 square feet of space at Bloomington’s Normandale Lake Office Park, Dan Gleason, an executive director with Cushman & Wakefield, said Tuesday.
“I think it’s a transitional move,” Gleason said, adding that the space provides Gander with “a good landing zone.”
Gander will be subleasing space in the 8300 Tower at the park from Tata Consultancy Services, which has a lease that runs through May 2019.
Lemonis’ Camping World Holdings Inc., the largest recreational vehicle dealer in the U.S., paid about $38 million for Gander Mountain and its Overton’s boating business in an auction in April, a month after Gander filed for bankruptcy.
All 160 Gander stores have run liquidation sales since and about half are closing. In June, Lemonis announced that six stores in Minnesota were expected to close and six would stay open.
Representatives for Camping World declined to comment on the headquarters move. Lemonis, who stars on “The Profit” on CNBC, didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Gander received a $763,000 financing package from the city of St. Paul for the 256 jobs it moved and created when it relocated from Bloomington to downtown St. Paul in 2005, a city spokeswoman said.
At the time, St. Paul’s downtown office market had a 25 percent vacancy rate. The loan was forgivable after 10 years.
Gander’s exit from St. Paul would be a blow to the city even as its office market has made signs of recovering. The vacancy rate for downtown St. Paul is about 13.6 percent, according to a recent quarterly report by JLL. Several new office developments including the Osborn370, the 428 and Treasure Island Center are being renovated. 3M is also looking for up to 60,000 square feet of space in downtown St. Paul.