Three sisters who planned to open an interactive sneaker store in Lake Worth — one that would house some 6,000 rare Nikes, Adidas, Pumas and Jordans — are having second thoughts.
The sisters, who run a commercial property company that owns 39 downtown Lake Worth properties, got an offer on the building where they planned to open the store. Apparently it’s an offer too good to pass up.
“My sisters and I would love to build the store in Lake Worth, but we recently had an offer to lease the space from a business we feel may be better suited to downtown,” said Ariana Peters, a managing partner with Peters Development. “We are exploring this before we make a final decision.”
Peters wouldn’t name the company that put in the offer.
Ariana and her sisters, Dakota and Dresden, started the company Chicks With Kicks and hoped to open the sneaker store at the vacant 3,500-square-foot building at 605 Lake Avenue.
Issue with city commissioner
But the sisters’ father, Doug, said his daughters’ second thoughts about opening the store in Lake Worth have more to do with Lake Worth City Commissioner Andy Amoroso.
Amoroso is moving the novelty gift shop he owns off Lake Avenue, Studio 205, to another location because the shop is in a building owned by Peters Development, which is increasing rent 60 percent. While Amoroso has a new location, Peters Development won’t let him out of his current lease until October because, as Doug claims, Amoroso bad-mouthed them in the past.
And that’s the reason, Doug said, his daughters are now considering pulling the plug on the sneaker store in Lake Worth.
“My daughters have put their life and soul into this town,” said Doug Peters, a retired commercial property developer. “They fix up every building, they make their rounds. And to be bashed? It’s a little disheartening, so they’re going to explore some options. Before it was 100 percent Lake Worth. They’re very upset.”
Never-worn 1985 Air Jordans
Ariana, 24, Dresden, 22 and Dakota, 18, own more than 6,000 rare sneakers, some of which include never-worn 1985 Air Jordans, the pristine 2008 Kanye West Air Yeezys and vintage Pumas and Converse All-Stars.
Their passion for sneakers came from Doug and his late wife, Gabriela, who was killed in a car accident 15 years ago. The Peters wore sneakers all the time, which led them to start collecting them as a hobby.
“Some people collect art, G.I. Joes or Barbie dolls,” Doug said last year. “But we love the construction of the sneaker, the purpose of the shoe, the branding.”
After their father gave them the shoe collection six years ago, the sisters decided to turn it into a store. They have since added more than 1,000 sneakers to the collection. The sneakers range in price from $100 for a basic pair, with rare pairs selling for as much as $40,000.
Store was to have a Wells Fargo-like vault
The store was going to sell new and used sneakers. It was also going to have a restoration service where customers could have their favorite Nikes repaired. An a-la-carte menu of restoration services was planned.
They also planned to build an $85,000 Wells Fargo-like walk-in bank vault where a few hundred of the rarest and most expensive sneakers would be housed.
“This is not a little safe you buy from Costco,” said Chase Peters, who was going to handle construction.
The store also was going to be tricked out with cameras, so customers, for a small fee, could log into the store’s website to check inventory and see what’s going on 24/7.
Analysts were impressed last year by the idea.
“Millennials are willing to spend a premium on shoes, and they drive the market,” said Cindy Craft, a retail development director at Retail Strategies, an Alabama-based company that specializes in retail recruitment.
Reality show for sisters?
After reading a Palm Beach Post story about the collection last year, six television production companies called the sisters about starring in a reality show. The sisters signed a deal with Fly on the Wall Entertainment, a California-based company responsible for such reality show programs as the long-running “Big Brother” on CBS.
Ariana Peters said they later backed out of a deal because the company wanted the show to focus on the sisters, not the sneakers.
As for where the sneaker store may open, no one is saying.
Ariana Peters said her main concern is finding the best fit for the property. “Our sneaker collection is not going anywhere,” she said.
Doug Peters said Boca Raton, where the family has a home, has shown some interest and has offered the Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency money for the sisters to open their store in Boca. “We weren’t even asking for money,” he said. The CRA did not return calls from The Palm Beach Post.
In more than 20 years, Ariana said their family hasn’t sold a single property they own in Lake Worth. “Our dedication, desire and belief in this town speaks volumes and is clearly shown by our actions,” she said. “We adore this city, we moved our offices base downtown and love nothing more than being a part of such a wonderfully unique and beautiful city.”