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Bass Pro plans proceed in New York, Illinois, Tennessee

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Coming off a year in which it built two new stores in the United States and Canada, Bass Pro Shops is preparing to add multiple spots to its list of locations.

A lease between the Springfield-based hunting and fishing retailer is expected in July or August for a new Bass Pro in Buffalo, N.Y., according to a report Sunday in the Buffalo News.

Bass Pro President Jim Hagale and Thomas Dee, president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., recently met to discuss the lease.

"We are negotiating the lease, and it’s in their hands,” Dee told the paper. “They are very anxious to open and want to make sure we have everything in place so we don’t hold them up."

The store would be part of the $294.8 million Canal Side development, which is expected to open next year. Dee told the paper there was no rush to get a lease signed as long as the lease didn't interfere with the Canal Side construction schedule.

Bass Pro spokesman Larry Whiteley declined to elaborate on plans for the Buffalo project.

In East Peoria, Ill., the retailer is getting its own street in preparation for its 58th retail location. Bass Pro Shops Boulevard would lead customers along the bank of the Illinois River to the store parking lot, according to a report from the Peoria Journal-Star.

City and business officials chose the street to lead into the store, which is set to open in September 2011, because of its views of the river and wildlife habitats.

According to a Bass Pro news release, the East Peoria store will cover 145,000 square feet and include its trademark hunting and fishing galleries and exhibits as well as a full dealership for its Tracker boat lines.

Meanwhile, Bass Pro's most high-profile work in progress, the renovation of the Memphis Pyramid, will likely benefit from federal recovery funds.

The city of Memphis plans to use all of its $70 million in recovery act bonds to redevelop the Pyramid and the nearby Pinch District, according to a report in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

The money would be used to prepare the arena, including strengthening it against earthquakes, and adding new sidewalks, lighting and other infrastructure to the adjacent district, Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb told the paper Monday.

City officials also called a lease agreement with Bass Pro "imminent," though Whiteley also declined comment on the Memphis store.

According to previous Springfield Business Journal coverage, the retailer plans to turn the former sporting arena into a retail and conservation center anchored by a Bass Pro store. The store is expected to open in November 2011.

Bass Pro opened two locations in 2009, in Altoona, Iowa, and Rocky View, Alberta.[[In-content Ad]]

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