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What ever happened to Bass Pro Shops coming to Augusta?

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After years of talks about Bass Pro Shops coming to town, Augusta is off the list of future stores on the company’s Web site.

Bass Pro Shops planned to build a store at the Village at Riverwatch, but the recession doomed the Augusta project.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Bass Pro Shops planned to build a store at the Village at Riverwatch, but the recession doomed the Augusta project.

Bass Pro Shops was listed as a future tenant in the Village at Riverwatch shopping center in 2008, with a finish date in 2009. Because of the recession, the company put all new construction on hold, and Costco announced plans to build on the site instead.

In an April article in The Au­gusta Chronicle, City Admini­strat­or Fred Russell said he was no longer expecting Bass Pro Shops to come to Augusta.

“There have been extensive conversations, but at this point I'm not optimistic,” he said. “If it does materialize in the future, it would be a welcome surprise.”

Walter Sprouse, the executive director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said Bass Pro Shops’ interest in Augusta hasn’t gone anywhere.

“They’re still out there,” he said. “They may have taken the star off the map, but I don’t really think that means anything.”

Sprouse has heard from company representatives as recently as three months ago, and he said the opening of Costco has made them more interested. Costco, he said, is a store that customers will drive a considerable distance to visit – and Bass Pro Shops believes it would benefit from that traffic.

“They were absolutely thrilled to hear about Costco,” he said. “I think they’re more interested now than they were six months ago.”

Bass Pro corporate spokesman Larry Whitely would not confirm or deny anything, but agreed with Sprouse that Augusta’s absence from the store’s map does not mean the city isn’t on the radar.

“It definitely doesn’t mean that it’s not still on the table,” he said. “It just means there’s nothing new to say about it.”

The development authority arranged $25 million in tax-exempt financing for the project, and Sprouse said the offer stands.

“There was no sunset clause,” he said. “But that’s still a lot of fishing poles to have to sell. It’s all market-driven.”

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DowntownJaguar
123
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DowntownJaguar 12/25/11 - 10:22 pm
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Riverman1 is giddy I'm sure.

Riverman1 is giddy I'm sure.

Pu239
284
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Pu239 12/25/11 - 11:55 pm
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...
Unpublished

...

Dixieman
17430
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Dixieman 12/26/11 - 02:38 am
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B-u-m-m-e-r.

B-u-m-m-e-r.

Ole School
1
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Ole School 12/26/11 - 04:04 am
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darn, I had planed to retire

darn, I had planed to retire from there after retiring from state

LouLou
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LouLou 12/26/11 - 05:11 am
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This is sad to hear, there's

This is sad to hear, there's a lot of folks that had high hopes for Bass Pro to come in this area. I hope they re-think on this.

Riverman1
93854
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Riverman1 12/26/11 - 08:15 am
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Who needs Bass Pro when we

Who needs Bass Pro when we have Allen's Country Store and it didn't take a $25 million bribe? Now think about that for a second and realize it's the same deal with Costco's. You would essentially put that small, locally owned, bait and tackle shop on Washington Rd out of business the same way Costco's is taking money from other stores.

I simply ask is it fair to subsidize any big national retail corporation with hundreds of millions in profits at the expense of other local business?

Remember, I'm Riverman and no one enjoys fishing more than I do.

DowntownJag, you hush. When I become president of ASU, I may have a spot for you if you learn to be loyal to the president of the school.

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/26/11 - 08:32 am
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Just spoke with a

Just spoke with a representative of the Striper population at Clarks Hill. They feel the decision to avoid Augusta is ideal.

drivenslow
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drivenslow 12/26/11 - 09:08 am
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like we need a bass pro shops
Unpublished

like we need a bass pro shops give me a break

Riverman1
93854
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Riverman1 12/26/11 - 09:25 am
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I enjoy shopping at Walmart,

I enjoy shopping at Walmart, but I remember when it was being built in Evans there were all kinds of protestors complaining about the damage to the environment, etc. so close to the houses.

Now we have Costco's on an environmentally sensitive area on the canal, built with us giving them a huge tax break. We talk about giving Bass Pro big loans to build there, too. Walmart didn't receive the taxbreaks.

Mayor Copenhaver-Boardman was absolutely giddy about using creative financing to build Costco's. There's a disconnect.

OnlyInAmerica
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OnlyInAmerica 12/26/11 - 09:27 am
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Bass Pro made it pretty clear
Unpublished

Bass Pro made it pretty clear last time that they had no intention on building around here. why is the AC so obsessed with this?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/26/11 - 10:00 am
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I say we move on and call

I say we move on and call Bass Amateur Shoppes

nadps53jrt
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nadps53jrt 12/26/11 - 10:06 am
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Man that sure sucks.

Man that sure sucks.

nanowerx
1405
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nanowerx 12/26/11 - 11:13 am
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It is a cool store, but way

It is a cool store, but way overpriced anyway. Using one of the numerous hunting/fishing shops we already have would serve one better. I much prefer having a CostCo over a Bass Pro Shops.

Just My Opinion
6271
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Just My Opinion 12/26/11 - 11:26 am
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How many articles are there

How many articles are there going to be about Bass Pro NOT coming to Augusta?? In about a month, is there going to be another one? This reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live news program where Chevy Chase would always include "General Illisemo Franco is still dead!"!

LemonJello
19
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LemonJello 12/26/11 - 12:12 pm
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I'm willing to bet that

I'm willing to bet that within the next few years, it comes to the CSRA, but not on the Georgia side of the river. I've heard 'beneath the surface' rumblings about that possibility.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 12/26/11 - 01:53 pm
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Please pursue Pottery Barn,

Please pursue Pottery Barn, Mr. Sprouse. It would be a big success here.

countyman
21638
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countyman 12/26/11 - 04:42 pm
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The residents from multiple

The residents from multiple towns, cities, and suburbs in Georgia can visit Walmart.. Coscto doesn't have any locations ouside of metro Atlanta and Augusta.. The nearest warehouses are located in Atlanta and Greenville..

Riverman1
93854
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Riverman1 12/26/11 - 04:35 pm
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Willow, what was the pottery

Willow, what was the pottery place that used to be next to the mall?

Countyman, Sams? I mean there are lots of different type stores not located here. Where do we stop with the tax breaks?

countyman
21638
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countyman 12/26/11 - 05:16 pm
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What about Sams?? The Sam's

What about Sams?? The Sam's in West Augusta underwent a multi million dollar renovation.. Infact the entire Village Plaza and Anderson Plaza were both renovated.. Beall's Outlet opened recently and it's a direct result of Costco.. Costco announced their coming to West Augusta, and Sam's had to expand in order to compete.. The developer of the Village Plaza decided to go ahead and renovate the entire center.. It's called the domonio effect, and the improved Village Plaza attracted Beall's.. The Village at Riverwatch will attract several stores and restaurants not in metro Augusta.. Think Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Chipotle, H&M, Chipotle, REI, California Pizza Kitchen, World Market, Bebe, Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, etc.. The Village at Riverwatch can't have duplicate retailers due to the Carmax area(formerly Wheele Town Park), Augusta Exchange, and Augusta mall all within 2-3 miles of each other( a very small area of Richmond County)..

The next Sam's Club is coming to Aiken along with three other retailers..

Riverman1
93854
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Riverman1 12/26/11 - 05:18 pm
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I mean should we give Sams

I mean should we give Sams the same tax break as Costco's? What about other stores who say they will come?

countyman
21638
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countyman 12/26/11 - 06:01 pm
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Sam's has multiple locations

Sam's has multiple locations throughout Georgia and South Carolina.. Costco only has two locations in both South Carolina(Charleston & Greenville) and Georgia(Atlanta & Augusta)..

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 12/26/11 - 06:24 pm
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River, that was Wacamaw.

River, that was Wacamaw. Nothing like Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn is not all about about pottery. It's an upscale , yet not toooo pricey home furnishings store with furniture including home offices, fine linens, home decor such as accessories, throw pillows, rugs, fabrics, pool umbrellas, dishes, glasses, flatware, seasonal deco etc, etc.

It's the "look", casual elegance, everyone wants today for their new homes. The closest ones to us are in Atlanta area; Greenville and Charleston, S.C. A lot of money leaves Augusta to shop elsewhere.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 12/26/11 - 06:27 pm
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Hey, countyman, Merry

Hey, countyman, Merry Christmas!

Dipshot
-5
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Dipshot 12/26/11 - 07:40 pm
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Hey, what happened to The

Hey, what happened to The Villages at Riverwatch?

Dipshot
-5
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Dipshot 12/26/11 - 07:47 pm
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Pottery Barn is a

Pottery Barn is a possibility, though I'm not a huge fan. I don't know why Augusta gave tax breaks to Costco. It's a reseller, not a manufacturer. I can see giving tax incentives to large manufacturing facilities but not retail stores. What's next? Giving tax breaks to the next chain restaurant countyman is crazy about?

Pu239
284
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Pu239 12/26/11 - 07:54 pm
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I wonder what 2 midsize metro
Unpublished

I wonder what 2 midsize metro areas in GA (outside of Atlanta) have Bass Pro Shops....I'll have to get my business reporter to research this..

Dipshot
-5
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Dipshot 12/26/11 - 08:05 pm
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Savannah and Macon have Bass

Savannah and Macon have Bass Pro.. and that does make sense since both are located along higher traffic interstate highways. In Savannah, you have all of the deep sea fishing.

Riverman1
93854
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Riverman1 12/26/11 - 08:28 pm
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Pu235, I'm not your business

Pu235, I'm not your business reporter, but it's Savannah and Macon.

countyman
21638
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countyman 12/26/11 - 08:54 pm
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The Costco was a $17 million

The Costco was a $17 million to $23 million investment.. The Costco got the ball rolling on the 115 acre Village at Riverwatch. The state of GA is spending $10 million to widen Alexander Rd.. The third most important city in the United States(Chicago) also gave Costco tax breaks...

http://www.chicagojournal.com/Blogs/Near-Loop-Wire/01-18-2011/City_Counc...

Chain restaurants don't start their employees off at $11 per hour similar to Costco.. A portion of the Village at Riverwatch is already open.. The development was divided into three phases: Costco, Phase 1, and Phase 2.. Phase 1 is coming shortly to the Village at Riverwatch...

Both Savannah and Macon do have a Bass Pro.. Ruth's Chris is also located in Savannah and we don't have one.. That's still nothing compared to Costco, Apple, Sephora, Tutti Frutti, Carolina Ale, Pandora, Handpicked, Williams Sonoma, PF Changs, Jared Galleria, etc here in Augusta..

I noticed Augusta was the second to get Imax after metro Atlanta.. Savannah and Macon still don't have one yet.. Alot of people wouldn't complain and bash Augusta everyday if they realize these things..

Riverman1
93854
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Riverman1 12/26/11 - 08:59 pm
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The Costco in Chicago was

The Costco in Chicago was placed in a blighted area of town. They were given a property tax break over a 12 year period estimated to amount to about $1 million in total. How much did Augusta give them for the store here on prime real estate? Chicago has a policy of helping all stores, including grocery stores, if they open in underserved areas of town.

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