New business moves into vacant Pier 1 building as 24th Street West begins to fill up

Once empty buildings along the 24th Street West and King Avenue West corridor are quickly filling in after years of vacancy.

The Pier 1 Imports store, which sits at the corner of 24th Street West and Rosebud Drive, has sat vacant since 2020 when the national retail chain filed for bankruptcy. The building will become the site of a new Skechers shoe store; work on the building began earlier this month.

The new Skechers store sits directly across 24th Street from a new Chick-fil-A, which is currently under construction. The chicken sandwich shop will be the second in Montana and is being built in the back end of the parking lot of Planet Fitness.

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Planet Fitness, of course, was a vacant Toys ‘R’ Us until the gym took over the building in 2019.

Just south on King Avenue West will be three new retailers filling in the long vacant Big Bear Sports Center. Big Bear closed in 2017 after a man barricaded himself in the big box store and was shot dead by police after an hours-long standoff.

Moving into the completely remodeled building will be a HomeGoods store, a Sierra retail shop and a PetCo. HomeGoods and Sierra are chain retail stores owned by the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

Skechers arrival to the area, along with the Sierra, HomeGoods and Petco stores, adds to the string of development that’s occurred along the 24th Street and King Avenue corridor in the last three years. Much of it started with the arrival of WinCo Foods in early 2019, which took the place of the shuttered Kmart at the corner of Central Avenue and 24th.

Last month near the same intersection, construction began on Glacier Express Car Wash, taking the old Sports Authority spot on 24th Street near Central Avenue. Sports Authority had permanently closed in 2016 and was then turned down three years later.

Chain restaurant Panera Bread opened soon after WinCo on the grocery store’s lot, followed by Chase Bank, which built a branch building across the lot from Panera.

Rimrock Mall next door, which recently sold out to new owners in a move to avoid bankruptcy, brought in Five on Black and Blaze Pizza in a standalone building along 24th Street near Monad Road.