Decatur Mayor: Bass Pro Shop Coming to River City

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Decatur Mayor Don Kyle confirms a Bass Pro Shop is on its way to the River City.

The mayor says the only thing standing in the way is City Council approval.  Mayor Kyle says the first phase of the project would create 400 new jobs, and could create as many as 4,000 jobs.  That doesn't include construction jobs to build the site.

The area along Highway 20 near the I-565/I-65 interchange may look like farm land right now, but it may soon be covered with concrete and asphalt and shoppers by the thousands.  This is where developers propose to build a Bass Pro Shop along with dozens of additional stores, restaurants, a hotel and entertainment venues. It's an idea that's been in the works for almost eight years, and only Monday could Decatur Mayor Don Kyle speak openly about it.

"Very few cities have the opportunity to take over 500 acres of totally undeveloped land and make it what you want it to be from day one," said Kyle. "So this is a tremendous opportunity. We think full build out may take 15 or 20 years but we think, too, there'll be in access of 4,000 jobs created when all is said and done."

Kyle says the incentives package has the potential to reach $63 million over the life of the development phases of the project, based on the performance of the development. He says the state is on board to build a bridge on Highway 20 to help ease traffic on and off the site. That roadwork will help determine when we'll see construction begin and when the store will actually begin to open.

"It's a long-term project. We're not talking 5 years, 10 years overall," said Kyle. "This is going to be a significant period of time that development will be ongoing."

The $63 million incentive would be paid out over a 30-year period, and only then based upon the developer's success here at the site.

Mayor Kyle says the last hurdle is getting the city council to vote and approve the deal.
That's scheduled for next Monday, March 17.

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