The national outdoor-sports retailer operates 77 stores across North America and will construct one of its largest for the Emerson site. Set to open in 2014, Bass Pro Shops included in the memorandum the option to add an additional structure housing a restaurant and bowling alley.
“Bass Pro is looking at about a $22 million investment creating 90 to 120 full-time jobs,” said Authority Attorney Boyd Pettit. “There’s been a lot of discussion about the size and type of facilities, but it looks like the plans are right now a 100,000-square-foot facility — 80,000 of that heated, conditioned-air facility — full-service Bass Pro with all the amenities that go with it. They are looking also at an additional 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, which would include a restaurant, bowling alley and entertainment.”
The MOU signed Thursday represents an agreement between three parties, Bass Pro Shops, the Bartow County Development Authority and LakePoint Land — the official authority in ownership of the land.
“The memorandum provides that Bass Pro is purchasing property and LakePoint is making some committents in terms of infrastructure that has to be put in place,” Pettit said. “[Commissioner Clarence Brown] along with LakePoint and the state made a commitment that there would be a relocation of a portion of Highway 293 and this development authority will play a large part in that. Part of the economic development efforts of this authority is to try to attract business, jobs and industry into our community. So in accordance with the provisions of the memorandum there is a $5.2 million infrastructure project that will be done to support eventually LakePoint, but certainly Bass Pro, and that includes a grant from the state department of transportation, it includes some local matching funds used through the department of transportation as well as $1 million to be funded through the Development Authority of Bartow County.”
The road relocation will act as a safety enhancement project for the intersection of Ga. Highway 293 and Old Allatoona Road. A traffic signal will be at the new intersection between Love’s truck stop and U.S. Highway 41, near the proposed location of Terminus wake park.
Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown and members of the authority were pleased with the terms of Bass Pro Shop’s incentive structure after many long negotiations, including conversations that began with the company as early as 2009.
Bartow County schools will benefit from proceeds of 100 percent of allocated sales tax whereas the two current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax calendars will receive 75 percent of the 2-cent sales tax additions added by referendum for county projects.
“A lot of work went into this and there’s a lot of people to thank, especially Boyd Pettit, he’s got a lot of hard work in this, and Earl Erhart has worked hard on this, and I must thank my good friend Bobby Cox. Without him it may not have happened,” Brown said. “It makes me feel good three days before I go out of office that this gets announced. This is a big, big boost for LakePoint. This will get it kicked off. People ask me all the time, ‘When are they going to get started?’ This will start it. This right here will kick off a lot of other things, because they will follow this.”
As described in the original announcement from Bass Pro Shops, the Emerson store will sit at the south end of LakePoint adjacent to a 300-acre nature park with trails and recreational opportunities for product testing and education. Two hundred jobs were originally reported in the press release, those will consist of 90 to 120 full-time employees with the difference made up for in full-time equivalent employees.
For more information, visit www.basspro.com.