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Race Pace Bicycles to open two new stores in 2017

Published November 18, 2016

BALTIMORE, Md. (BRAIN) — Longtime retailer Alex Obriecht has announced that Race Pace Bicycles will expand with two new stores set to open in early 2017.

Obriecht, who currently operates five stores in the Baltimore, Maryland area, said he had originally planned to open one new location north of the city in Towson, Maryland, but that things snowballed following an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

"Three years ago we talked to Johns Hopkins University, which was developing a piece of property. They wanted a bike shop, but the rent just didn't work for us," Obriecht said. "But they caught wind of us looking in Towson and called our realtor. Turns out they still wanted a bike shop in their space, so they gave us the right deal and we took it."

The store will be located one block from the university and is slated to open Jan. 20. At 2,400 square feet, it will be Obriecht's smallest store.

"We're going to look at a bunch of stores between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet to see what retailers this size are doing," he said. "We are already planning to install a 1,000 square-foot mezzanine to hold around 120 service bikes."

After looking at the Towson area, where retail space is limited, for nearly five years, Obriecht finally found a location in the Dulaney Plaza shopping center. The owner, who was initially skeptical of renting a bike shop, agreed to rent to Obriecht after seeing his other stores.

"I think he had an idea of what bike shops looked like 20 years ago, but when he saw that our stores didn't look like, he changed his mind," Obriecht said. "That's a nice thing, and it's good when bike retail is on the same par as other prime retail."

The 10,000 square-foot Towson location has the same footprint of three other Race Pace stores. It is scheduled to open by the end of March. Obriecht has also just completed a remodel of his largest store, located in Columbia, Maryland. All Race Pace stores carry Trek, Cannondale, Scott and Felt.

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