Bass Pro Shops store planned for Gainesville, will anchor Celebration Pointe
Published: Friday, May 16, 2014 at 4:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 16, 2014 at 4:29 p.m.
Bass Pro Shops is coming to Gainesville, with plans to open an 80,000-square-foot store in 2016 in the new Celebration Pointe development northwest of Interstate 75 and Archer Road, the company announced Friday afternoon.
Bass Pro Shops sells hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other outdoor gear, clothing and gifts. Its massive stores include lodge-like exteriors and outdoor-themed interiors complete with aquariums, mounted fish and wildlife. Boat showrooms include Tracker Marine Group fishing boats including Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako.
The destination store will be the main anchor to the 1 million-square-foot, mixed-use development. The average Bass Pro customer stays 2½ hours and drives 50-plus miles, the company said.
"When we (established) the vision for Celebration Pointe, we could not have hoped for a more perfect tenant to serve in the spotlight as the primary anchor," Ralph Conti, a partner in the development project, said in a Bass Pro Shops news release.
"Bass Pro Shops is just the type of catalyst that will attract other business to locate in our community and enhance the overall economic development within Alachua County," Lee Pinkoson, chairman of the Alachua County Commission, said in the news release.
Celebration Pointe was the first transit-oriented development approved by the County Commission in November 2010 under new county policies that push for compact and walkable mixed-use developments linked by bicycle and pedestrian paths and by bus transit, replacing the road impact fee with a multimodal transportation fee to fund a portion of the bus service.
Celebration Pointe is planned to include about 1,000 townhomes, condominiums and apartments, a hotel, 300,000 square feet of retail and office space and 100 acres of conservation land east of Lake Kanapaha and west of I-75. It also will include a bridge over I-75 that connects to the northern expansion of Butler Plaza.
Preliminary land work began in August, and land clearing and road work for a new, four-lane Southwest 45th Street from Archer Road to the town center will start in June.
The first phase of Celebration Pointe received final development plan approval on Thursday from the county Development Review Committee.
Friday's announcement gives Celebration Pointe's developer a lot of momentum heading into next week's International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas, where partners will be talking to other potential tenants, spokesman Mark Winter said. The developers already have been negotiating with other retailers, restaurants and entertainment venues.
"Our hope is things really start to fall in place now," Winter said.
Last month, Celebration Pointe announced that the county had created the first of two community development districts for the project, allowing the developers to issue bonds and levy assessments on property owners to fund infrastructure.
The Bass Pro Shops store will be the company's 13th in Florida, including nine open now — the closest being in Orlando and Tallahassee — and three to open subsequently in Daytona Beach, St. Johns County and Brandon near Tampa. The Springfield, Missouri-based, privately owned chain operates 85 stores that draw 116 million customers per year.