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Town Center’s flagship to open

The long-awaited center is the city’s newest landmark; Sport Chalet will open first, on Aug. 21.

August 14, 2008|By Charles Cooper

The opening of the new 45,000 square-foot Sport Chalet in the La Cañada Town Center next Thursday, after more than a decade of community debate and discussion, marks a major landmark in the history of La Cañada Flintridge.

The $60 million shopping center development at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway, which also includes a remodeled Taylor’s Steakhouse and will soon house a HomeGoods store, other retailers and eateries such as Chipotle Grill, is the largest in local history and the fulfillment of one man’s vision, the founder of Sport Chalet, Norbert Olberz.

The Sport Chalet will be first to open, with a ribbon-cutting event planned for next 9 a.m. Aug. 21. Other businesses will open as the interiors of their respective buildings are custom-tailored for their uses.

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“This project is the legacy of the Olberz family,” according to developer Darren Mattix, who has led the drive for the center since being invited to join the project in 2005 by Olberz’s son Eric. “It wouldn’t have happened without them.”

Eric Olberz, who has stayed behind the scenes publicly during the past few years, issued a statement on behalf of the family, saying, “The Olberz family is grateful to all those that made it possible to realize our dream. It is gratifying to see the Town Center come to fruition and we look forward to welcoming the community.”

Craig Levra, chairman and CEO of Sport Chalet, said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday, “This is the culmination of 33 years of work by our Company’s founder, Norbert Olberz and his family, and we are all proud and excited this day has arrived.

“This new store, located next to our corporate offices, will become a retail lab, in which we will try new in-store concepts, displays, products, specialty services and computer systems, all designed to enhance the customer’s shopping experience.

“We hope our loyal customers in La Cañada Flintridge and the surrounding communities, who at one time were asked to shop in four different buildings along Foothill Boulevard, will enjoy our new store.”

Levra further said the Aug. 21 ribbon-cutting event will provide the opportunity to “thank the Olberz family for all they have given to both our community and our company these past 50 years.”

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