After more than 10 years searching for a mid-Peninsula location, retailer Sports Basement will set up shop in Redwood City in the former Toys R Us home off Highway 101.

The 88,000-square-foot store at 202 Walnut St. will be the chain’s largest — even bigger than its flagship location in San Francisco — and it’s slated to open in November.

“We’re extremely excited to be in the area,” said Director of Operations Aaron Schweifler. “This was the most important next area for us to add a store and buildings of this size don’t come along very often so, when we got word that Toys R Us was leaving, we jumped on it.” 

Schweifler said the new Redwood City location, the company’s ninth, will offer everything customers rely on at the other eight stores, including a broad selection of outdoor gear and growing rental department for camping equipment, bikes, skis, snowboards and snow apparel.

“We think folks in San Mateo County are going to love that and they already drive down to our other locations for those things,” he said.

Schweifler described the company as a cross between “best brand basement prices and a community hub” and said 10 percent to 15 percent of the store will be reserved for community spaces, including areas for kids to play or private spaces for a yoga class or for an organization to meet.

The company is also actively searching for local schools, nonprofits and charities with which to partner. It currently partners with 1,250 organizations across the Bay Area and hosts 5,000 to 6,000 community events each year, ranging from Boy Scout meetings to film screenings to the AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride event from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money for HIV/AIDS services. 

The company’s loyalty program offers a 10 percent discount for life and 10 percent of profits are donated to a charity or school chosen by the customer. 

Sports Basement opened almost exactly 20 years ago in Mission Bay in San Francisco where the UCSF campus currently sits. It has been growing since and recently opened a store in Novato.

“In the Amazon age with brick and mortar dying, I’m excited we’re growing and that something we’re doing is resonating,” Schweifler said.

(650) 344-5200 ex. 102

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