Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bass Pro Confirms Its Plans

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bass Pro Confirms Its Plans

Article excerpt

SARASOTA COUNTY Bass Pro Shops officially announced it will open an 80,000-square-foot Outpost store here in 2016.

The store -- a smaller format compared with the previously reported 140,000-square-foot Outdoor World -- will still be a first for Southwest Florida.

The megastore outdoor chain, which sells fishing, camping, hunting, boating and other gear, will anchor a 260,000-square-foot mixed-use retail center called "Fruitville Commons" at the northeast quadrant of Interstate 75 and Fruitville Road, several miles south of the Mall at University Town Center, according to an announcement issued late Monday.

The store will be the company's 14th in Florida, and the second one in development on the Gulf Coast. Bass Pro Shops broke ground on a 150,000-square-foot Outdoor World in April near Westfield Group's Brandon Town Center.

The Herald-Tribune had confirmed Bass Pro Shops' entrance into the Sarasota-Bradenton market in May, after the annual International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas.

Bass Pro officials say the store will attract customers from nearly 50 miles away, noting that more than 100,000 vehicles will pass by the store each day from Interstate 75 and other thoroughfares.

"Having owned the property for more than 30 years, we are extremely excited that Bass Pro Shops has chosen our site for the home of their latest complex," said David Walters, trustee of the Walters' Trust, in the Monday statement. "The concept of a Bass Pro Shops Outpost store is exactly what was envisioned when the mixed- use Fruitville Initiative was conceived."

Fruitville Commons will be built on one of six parcels in the area that form the so-called "Fruitville Initiative," a 420-acre parcel near Fruitville Road owned by several property investors and Sarasota County.

Sarasota County officials are working with Fruitville Initiative developers to draw a variety of employers to the area but still preserve the rural environment near the highway. …

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