Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Business

Ground-breaking set for Bass Pro Shops in Brandon

TAMPA — More than a year after Hillsborough County officials approved a $6.25 million subsidy to bring a Bass Pro store to Brandon, construction is about to begin.

David Verardo Development said Monday a ground-breaking for the project will be April 24 at the Estuary shopping complex across from the Westfield Brandon mall. Also headed to the center is the area's first TopGolf, a sport entertainment complex.

Bass Pro is scheduled to open in spring 2015. Construction is well under way on TopGolf, which is expected to open late this fall.

County commissioners in February 2012 voted 6-1 for the subsidy for road improvements, with Commissioner Kevin Beckner voting against it.

The money will pay for roads needed to access the property, normally the responsibility of developers. The funding will not go directly to Bass Pro.

Located near Interstate 75, the 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro store will carry a large line of hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor-themed gear. Fishing ponds, taxidermy displays and a restaurant will give it the feel of a destination rather than just a store.

Calling the subsidy a good investment, county leaders said the project would attract new businesses and tourists to the area, create new jobs and boost sales tax revenue. Officials approved the project amid objections from small-business owners who said the project would benefit an out-of-town big-box chain and take away their customers.

The developer, county officials and representatives of Bass Pro Shops, TopGolf and the Brandon Chamber of Commerce will attend the ground-breaking, which will be at 11:15 a.m.

Bass Pro Shops, based in Springfield, Mo., is a privately held retailer of hunting, fishing, camping and related products. It has nine stores in Florida and three others in the works, including the Brandon store.

Information from Times files was used in this report.

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