Construction awaits cleanup

The newest Bass Pro Shop opened in Calgary, Alberta, just last month -- and a store in Altoona, Iowa, will spring to life late this summer.

 

Augusta's Bass Pro, announced in April 2008, is in the pipeline, but -- for now -- no formal groundbreaking is set, according to Bass Pro communications director Larry Whiteley in Springfield, Mo.

Richmond County Development Authority director Walter Sprouse said he expects signs of life to emerge at the store site soon -- in the form of workers who must first remove curbs and other structures placed there for previous projects that never came to fruition.

The planned, 100,000-square-foot Augusta store off River Watch Parkway, which is expected to employ as many as 250 people, will take 10 to 12 months to complete once construction begins, he said.

"The main thing they have to do is dig up all that stuff they already put in the ground," he said. "The previous developer planned out a lot of curb and gutter systems, and most of that has to be ripped out."

The developer and property owner, Texas-based MGHerring Group, is working with a local developer, Frank Mullins, to get the project under way. Bass Pro will benefit from about $25 million in tax-exempt financing arranged by the development authority.

That assistance, Mr. Sprouse said, is all arranged. "We're set and ready to roll," he said.

The planned Bass Pro store, which is expected to attract other businesses nearby, will face Interstate 20 and is part of a larger planned development that eventually will encompass most of the 132-acre site and tie it in with the Augusta Canal, which runs along its northern boundary.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.