FREMONT -- A thriving outdoor mall could expand to meet one of the area's biggest retail needs, if the City Council approves its plan to open the city's largest sporting goods retailer and other storefronts.

The Block at Pacific Commons' proposal to add Dick's Sporting Goods in a 50,000-square-foot store and Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant in a 6,500-square-foot building, will be considered Feb. 18 by the council. The Planning Commission last month unanimously recommended approval.

Fremont has coveted a large sports equipment retailer since Tri-City Sporting Goods closed in 2006, city leaders said. "Right now, a lot of people step outside Fremont to buy a ball or other basic sporting goods," said Christina Briggs, the city's economic development manager. "We're filling key voids in our retail, and it speaks to The Block's existing success that it is adding to it."

The 27-acre shopping hot spot -- bounded by Boscell Road, Bunche Drive and Curie and Christy streets -- opened two years ago next to Pacific Commons, an 80-acre outdoor shopping center that opened in 2004.

Catellus, which developed both retail zones next to Interstate 880, sold Pacific Commons two months ago to Heitman, a Chicago investment company.

But Catellus still owns The Block, envisioning it as a food and entertainment mecca when it built a cinema multiplex and several restaurants there in 2012. Its first phase landed stores such as Target, Men's Warehouse, Ulta and Sleep Number, as well as The Habit Burger Grill, Which Wich and other eateries. Now on the verge of adding two large retail spaces in its second phase, The Block also might include another store in a 3,000-square-foot building, said Catellus spokesman Sean Whiskeman. "We're in pretty active discussions to find a tenant for that third space," he said. "We've had great interest from restaurants for it."

The Block originally was meant to be what the developer calls a lifestyle center, where a cluster of small retailers would encourage customers to walk within the mall, staying for food, entertainment and shopping.

That specific goal was a casualty of the 2008 recession, Whiskeman said, saying the economic downturn made it "difficult to bring in the right critical mass of those small-shop retailers."

The Block vision has not been abandoned -- Catellus still aims to build a promenade linking the sporting goods store and the restaurant.

"There still will be beautiful plaza spaces and great opportunities for outdoor dining," Whiskeman said. "We still have elements of the original plan; it's still intended as a lifestyle center."

Catellus hopes to open the new storefronts in time for the holiday season. As early as next year, the Block might begin a third phase to draw tenants to 16,000 square feet of remaining vacant retail space, Whiskeman said.

"At some point, we're going to run out" of space, he said.

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.