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Outdoor retailer Gander Mountain to build store in Columbia County

Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 4:57 PM
Last updated Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 1:33 AM
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Columbia County officials said a newly announced outdoor retail store near Interstate 20 will be on the fast track to open in fall of this year.

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Commission Chairman Ron Cross announced Friday afternoon that Minnesota-based Gander Mountain had selected the Columbia County site on Mason McKnight Jr. Park­way, near Flowing Wells Road for its next Georgia location.

“It is such a delight to deal with a company that knows what they want, says what they will do and follows through,” said Cross, taking a swipe at Bass Pro Shops, which had made a similar announcement in July, but then later backed out of the deal. “I think this will be the initiative that will bring other stores and retailers to this fine property near I-20.”

John Engler, vice president of McKnight Properties, said the company wants to start construction as quickly as possible and open “by Oct. 1, if not sooner.”

Officials said an official ground-breaking is set for March 5, although some site work might begin as early as next week.

“My only worry is keeping up with their (schedule),” Engler said.

Gander Mountain is the second large outdoor retail chain in the past seven months to announce plans for the Augusta-area. Cabela’s Inc. is completing work on a 42,000-square-foot store in Richmond County next to Costco in the Village at Riverwatch near I-20, which will be the outdoor retailer’s first in Georgia. The store is scheduled to open March 20 and employ about 90 people.

The 52,000-square-foot Gander Mountain store will be situated just across the Columbia County line, anchoring one end of what Engler hopes to develop into a large mixed use retail center with an additional 158,000-square-feet of space for future tenants. Engler said he was in negotiations with other retailers for those spaces now, but declined to provide details.

“Gander Mountain will be a perfect fit for our region, and this announcement is another confirmation that Columbia County continues to strive through public-private partnerships to bring the best to our citizens,” Cross said.

Unlike the Bass Pro Shops deal, Cross said no tax incentives or other inducements were offered to Gander Mountain.

The only thing the county plans to do for the development is to move a sewer line to make way for construction, he said.

Gander Mountain, generally, does not seek incentives for their stores, according to company spokesman Jess Myers.

It is very rare that we do that,” he said.

Myers said that most Gander Mountain stores employ between 50 and 70 people with season fluctuations. Of those, about 20 are generally full-time positions, he said.

The store will be the fourth Gander Mountain location in Georgia, joining existing stores in Albany and Valdosta, and a new store announced for McDonough, to open in the spring.

“We appreciate the warm welcome we have received in Augusta and look forward to our grand opening in the fall,” said Eric Jacobsen, Gander Mountain’s executive vice president, in a press release.

Gander Mountain, headquartered in St. Paul, sells hunting, fishing, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle products and services. It has 131 stores in 24 states.

Comments (27) Add comment
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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 02/07/14 - 05:24 pm
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Dang! Good job to the folks

Dang! Good job to the folks responsible for getting this store in here. After all, if the site was good enough for the goose, then it should be good enough for the GANDER!!
Sorry about that. I may have violated some comment-writing rules....

augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 02/07/14 - 05:38 pm
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Great news!

My husband is going to be excited to hear about this, first Cabela's, now Gander Mountain.

countyman
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countyman 02/07/14 - 05:42 pm
3
9
Gander Moutain

Congratulations to Martinez(Bass Pro site a few months ago) and the local commercial growth in the metro/CSRA is booming.. They were going to open the store on the RC side of the development back in 2008.. All of the rumored or stores announced before the recession are coming to fruition. The new Target in South Augusta, REI, and Dave & Busters will be here soon..

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2008/02/07/bus_186501.shtml

Riverman1
89985
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Riverman1 02/07/14 - 07:12 pm
6
1
Huge Store

This appears to be a huge store. Cabela's is 42,000 sq. ft. while Gander Mt will be 50,000, the same as the previously proposed Bass Pro.

Capitalismisgood
90
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Capitalismisgood 02/07/14 - 08:51 pm
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Outstanding!

Great job CC!

Dixieman
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Dixieman 02/07/14 - 10:27 pm
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Anybody out there...

...want to crow about South Augusta, Hephzibah, etc. now?

countyman
21221
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countyman 02/07/14 - 11:44 pm
4
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South Augusta & Martinez

The Peach Orchard/Windsor Spring/I-520 corridor of South Augusta will dramatically change by the end of 2014..

Retail coming to the Carmax area, previously know as Wheeler Town Park was proposed back in 2007/2008. I thought you wanted to end the bickering and we should all be happy the site expands into both counties..

The Watermark development(CBD), Avenue Furys Ferry(North Richmond/Martinez), and the Mullins Crossing phase 2 (Evans) are the only three big projects announced before the recession yet to begin construction..

Riverman1
89985
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Riverman1 02/08/14 - 06:05 am
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No Inducements

"Unlike the Bass Pro Shops deal, Cross said no tax incentives or other inducements were offered to Gander Mountain."

That's what I'm talking about!!!

West Augusta-Martinez-Evans is on FIRE. :)

LeConteSkier
553
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LeConteSkier 02/08/14 - 04:25 am
3
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Gander Mountain was also

Gander Mountain was also proposed for that location in 2006 before the recession.

Riverman1
89985
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Riverman1 02/08/14 - 04:31 am
1
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Dang, Steve, steal my thunder

Dang, Steve, steal my thunder with the updates, why don't cha? Heh.

corgimom
36379
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corgimom 02/08/14 - 06:44 am
3
3
I'm a country girl, I hate to

I'm a country girl, I hate to see all that beautiful natural land disappear.

I know it's progress, but still...

scoobynews
3896
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scoobynews 02/08/14 - 07:22 am
3
7
Great another sportsman

Great another sportsman store. As if this market is not over saturated enough.

Graymare
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Graymare 02/08/14 - 07:59 am
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Great news again....

Are all of these improvements coming out of the blue? Not really. "If you build it, they will come" and Uncle Sam is building on Fort Gordon. The flight to D.C. has already been restored and that was a given. The companies are following the money! Fasten your seatbelts folks and don't screw it up! Put some polish on your "southern hospitality"!

seenitB4
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seenitB4 02/08/14 - 08:14 am
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Great news

No incentives.....wow.

harley_52
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harley_52 02/08/14 - 08:54 am
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Why Is It...

...a zero sum game for some of you posters? Why is good news for Columbia County necessarily a triumph over (or bad news for) Richmond County? Is it impossible to understand that good news for either County is good news for the entire Augusta Metropolitan Area?

I'm happy Columbia County is getting the new store. I wouldn't be any happier if it was a half mile down the road in Richmond County.

It seems to me that the counties enjoy a symbiotic relationship where each county benefits from the others' advancement.

harley_52
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harley_52 02/08/14 - 09:02 am
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Graymare...

...is right on...

jbartley
611
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jbartley 02/08/14 - 09:44 am
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1
Development Authority

Robert Bennett the director of the development authority and its board should get credit for this business coming to Columbia county,they are doing a great job!

Bizkit
34105
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Bizkit 02/08/14 - 09:57 am
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When it's built I'll have to

When it's built I'll have to go buy and take a "gander".

countyman
21221
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countyman 02/08/14 - 10:39 am
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6
Media

Harley 52.. Many of the residents are following behind the local media..

The local media will bring the entire CSRA into the discussion anytime Richmond County attracts something big(Cabelas & outlet mall)..

Yesterday, after watching all of the coverage dedicated to the new Gander Mountain.. I don't believe I heard the word 'CSRA' mentioned one time, but they mentioned 'Columbia County' numerous times..

The media didn't even want to mention the site is located in both counties..

seenitB4
93264
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seenitB4 02/08/14 - 10:44 am
6
2
WHAT are yall talking about?

Put on your big boy pants & get real...most of the posts are positive & I really don''t see bashing of RCty...

Overly sensitive...happens with age I guess.

Grandpa Jones
1091
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Grandpa Jones 02/08/14 - 10:53 am
6
1
Competition is a good thing.

Maybe, it is coincidental. But with Cabela's about to open, I've noticed 22 ammo all of sudden popping up on store shelves. First time in a long time but I was able to purchase a couple boxes from Wally World the other night.

harley_52
24862
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harley_52 02/08/14 - 11:08 am
3
0
When Gander Mountain Starts Advertising Its New Store....

...will they talk about their new store in Evans, GA, or their new store in Augusta, GA?

It's all about the availability of a suitable piece of real estate, NOT county boundaries.

Gage Creed
18708
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Gage Creed 02/08/14 - 01:20 pm
3
1
I wonder if those traveling

I wonder if those traveling west in order to access the Gander Mountain will have to pay tribute to the Boy King to gain safe passage through the mythical kingdom of North Richmond?

TCB22
679
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TCB22 02/08/14 - 01:31 pm
2
3
Great job CC Commissioners

I like to see growth in all of the area, but to be honest, the Riverwatch shopping area is just not inviting me to. The entrance looks like you are going into Dogpatch. Maybe it is nicer up the hill past all of the weeds? I've never been up there.

Lee Benedict
1649
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Lee Benedict 02/08/14 - 02:08 pm
2
1
Ron Cross had nothing to do with this,

as it was the result of a lot of hard work and loooong hours by the Development Authority's Board and its Director, Robert Bennett. Many of you don't know how hard these good folks worked, but I do and I thank them for bringing jobs and revenue to Columbia County and the entire Augusta/CSRA area. But really, stop quoting Cross as if he put this together, and give some kudos to Bennett. That said, if there's any soil and erosion or other environmental issues that were glossed over (ignored) that result in lawsuits against Columbia County, THEN give all praise to Ron Cross and then ask the local media why it refused to report on it.

GuyGene
1433
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GuyGene 02/08/14 - 02:56 pm
1
0
Great!

I'm very glad to hear this news! Keep growing, keep growing - I like it! Oh, y'all commission boys, don't forget the infrastructure to keep up too.

Pops
12091
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Pops 02/08/14 - 09:52 pm
1
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Thanks to

Mayor Deke.....you da man.....

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