Sporting retailer eyes site near I-20


Minnesota-based outdoor recreation retailer Gander Mountain is considering an Augusta site that would be the company's first Georgia location.


The potential 67,768-square-foot store would sit on a 9.9-acre site off Scott Nixon Memorial Drive near the end of Northwest Frontage Road, according to a preliminary site plan submitted to Richmond County officials about two weeks ago.

A copy of the plan obtained Wednesday by The Augusta Chronicle shows the store with an adjacent 15,300-square-foot outdoor display area. The plan also delineates a 24,488-square-foot space for Northern Tool & Equipment, another Minnesota-based retailer.

David Ewald, a spokesman for St. Paul, Minn.-based Gander Mountain, declined to offer details or opening dates, saying it is company policy not to discuss new stores until a lease has been signed.

The development would be the first in a largely wooded area south of Scott Nixon Memorial Drive between Bobby Jones Expressway and Flowing Wells Road.

If built, the store would be one of the area's largest outdoor retailers. By comparison, Academy Sports & Outdoors, which opened in 2006 at Owens and Washington roads in Evans, is about 77,000 square feet, and the new Dick's Sporting Goods store that opened last year at Augusta Mall covers 51,200 square feet.

Bob Austin, a building official with Richmond County's planning and zoning department, said companies submit preliminary plans to gauge the feasibility of their projects. He said Wednesday that he did not see any problems with the plan as submitted.

Access to the development would be through a traffic circle and an extension of Northwest Frontage Road.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or