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White plywood covered the front of the corner suite in the historic Masonic Lodge on Tuesday afternoon as renovations went on in preparation of opening a women’s activewear store.

Athleta, a company owned by the clothing giant GAP Inc., filed plans with the city last November to renovate the building at 2 E. Main St.

The space was the long-time home of Miller’s Jewelry until it moved across the street in 2019.

Athleta will be joining Lululemon as another out-of-state store in downtown Bozeman that caters specifically to women looking for high-end workout gear. There’s also the locally owned and designed Kulik Clothing store, which sells outdoor-inspired women’s leggings.

The Bozeman Masonic Lodge, constructed in 1890, received a $1.6 million renovation in 2016 to remove old stucco siding and restore the brick underneath. A time capsule from May 1950 was found during the renovation and included several newspapers, a silver dollar, a list of officers at the time and a photo of Nelson Story II, a member of the lodge.

The building was built by Story II’s father Nelson Story in 1890 and was purchased by the Masons in 1948.

While GAP has struggled in recent years, Athleta appears to be a bright spot for the company, showing continually growing sales in 2019. However, the certified company isn’t without controversy. In 2016, the store was accused of ripping off a striped leggings design from indie brand K-Deer Haute Yoga, which donated a portion of the legging sales to nonprofits. The leggings in question were removed from Athleta’s website, according to Racked.

Athleta and GAP, Inc., did not return requests for comment Tuesday.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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