Fitness over food! There’s been much speculation about what would take the place of Ann Taylor Loft at the coveted southwest corner of 50th & France. Several local boutiques looked at the space, but couldn’t afford it, and there was some talk about a restaurant. I’m happy to report that upscale fitness brand Athleta is taking the spot. Nothing against the food industry – I just think 50th already has a robust dining scene, and adding another store–especially one new to the Twin Cities–makes this shopping district even more desirable. It’s also nice to see a chain pick a neighborhood location over a mall.
Known primarily for its catalog/website, Athleta was purchased by Gap Inc. in 2008 and is now aggressively opening stores, with eight to 10 openings nationwide planned for this year. (Watch out, Lululemon–and at 50th, Title Nine.) Athleta offers chic active apparel for yoga, hiking, golf, triathlon, travel, and more. Coming soon to 5001 France Ave. S., Mpls.