TJ Maxx set to open downtown Portland store

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Discount fashion retailer TJ Maxx debuts its much-awaited downtown store at Portland’s Sixth Avenue Center on Thursday, Oct. 18.

The new Portland store is one of 16 TJ Maxx stores slated to open in the U.S. this month as its parent The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) embarks on an aggressive growth plan.

The Portland store follows TJ Maxx’s urban format and occupies 31,020 square feet in the basement of Sixth Avenue Center, 507 S.W. Sixth Ave.

Office Depot formerly used the space but cut its footprint at the location to about 7,200 square feet, keeping the street level portion of its former store. When TJ Maxx opens, the two retailers will share a foyer where escalators lead to the fashion retailer below.

The store also is served by public elevators on the Southwest Sixth side of the building.

The deal with TJ Maxx was a major coup for the Schelsinger Cos., a family-owned Portland real estate firm that has held portions of Sixth Avenue Center for four generations.

The TJX Companies, based in Framingham, Mass., operated 923 TJ Maxx Stores in 2011, including eight in Oregon. It also has five Marshalls department stores and three Home Goods stores in the state. It plans to open 116 new stores in the U.S. by the end of the year. It recently disclosed it will open at Jantzen Beach in 2013.

TJ Maxx was a $21.6 billion brand in 2011, and reported September sales of $2.5 billion.

Schlesinger moved to reposition Sixth Avenue Center after former tenant Kitchen Kaboodle quit its second-floor retail space during the recession.

Schlesinger converted the store space to office space and leased it to ICF International Inc., a Virginia-based tech firm.

In a key move, it ripped out the escalator that once ferried shoppers to Kitchen Kaboodle, freeing up a 2,400-square-foot retail space at the corner of Southwest Sixth and Alder Streets, the only unleased spot in the building.

Urban Works Real Estate is marketing it as a potential restaurant spot.

Henneberry Eddy Architects designed the renovations.

The Portland Business Journal is a KATU News partner.