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Bass Pro to build new store in Houston area

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

A new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store in Houston, Texas, should not affect the number of people trekking to Springfield to see the local shop, said Larry Whiteley, spokesman for Bass Pro Shops.

"Sales in the Springfield store remain really strong. We don't anticipate that will change. We plan to keep this the No. 1 attraction in Missouri. We think there will always be interest in going down to the 'mecca' here in Springfield," Whiteley said.

Bass Pro officials announced Feb. 19 plans for a 130,000-square-foot sporting goods store in the new Katy Mills shopping project near Houston. The mall, set to be 1.6 million square feet, has no estimated completion date and neither does the store project at this point, Whiteley said.

This is the fourth project Bass Pro has entered into with the Mills Corporation. The other three include the now-open Outdoor World-Chicago and the planned stores at Opry Mills in Nashville and Grapevine Mills near Dallas, Texas.

The latter two projects have no time lines yet for completion, Whiteley said. The Nashville project is part of a shopping mall that will be on property adjacent to the Opryland theme park, Whiteley said. Work on that mall has begun, he added.

The Houston mall project is a joint venture of the Mills Corporation with Kan Am of Munich, Germany. This is the first such pairing of those companies, Whiteley said.

The four new stores will be smaller but similar in format to the Springfield store. The Springfield store is now in the middle of an expansion set to be complete this spring, Whiteley said. That expansion should take it to 290,000 square feet in size from its present 170,000 square feet.

Feb. 26, John Q. Hammons announced plans for an Embassy Suites hotel to be connected to the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store under construction near the Grapevine Mills Mall in the Dallas area.

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