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Decatur Announces New Bass Pro Shops
March 17, 2008

DECATUR ANNOUNCES NEW BILLION DOLLAR

MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT

 

Decatur, Ala. - March 17, 2008 - Genesis U.S.A. Development, LLC today announced plans for Sweetwater, a unique planned mixed-use retail, entertainment, office and residential community to be located on 540 acres in Decatur, on the south side of Highway 20 at Interstate 65/565.

 

The first phase will include 125 acres anchored by Bass Pro Shops and a major hotel and convention center. The formal announcement of the hotel and convention center will be made within the next month. Phase I will include up to 300,000 square feet of additional retail with construction estimated to begin in 2009.

 

Bass Pro Shops, America's most popular outdoor store, will be located on a 25-acre site of the development, with the store covering over three acres in size, and will be the signature anchor for Sweetwater. The store is tentatively scheduled to open late spring 2009.                  

 

It is anticipated that construction for the hotel and convention center will begin in June 2008 with completion expected in late 2009 or early 2010. It is expected that the hotel and convention center will have up to 350 employees from the area.

 

"This is exciting news for the City of Decatur and all of North Alabama," said Governor Bob Riley. "Such a massive development really can change the face of an area and bring in revenue that would have never existed otherwise. Landing a project like this also shows that our economy is still on a roll. We have built a strong business climate thanks to an economic growth strategy that encompasses the entire state."

 

The investment for Phase I is estimated to be up to $200 million, with the development group being comprised of private investors embedded in the national music and entertainment industries. Upon completion the entire Sweetwater project is estimated to have a total cost of up to $1.3 billion.

 

Along with Bass Pro Shops, the new hotel and convention center and plentiful retail space, future phases of Sweetwater will include over 1 million square feet of retail, approximately 825,000 square feet of medical and office buildings, a world-class entertainment venue with a seating capacity of up to 8,000 people, 2,700 residences which will be home to between five and 7,000 people, school, fire station, parks and lakes.

 

Annual tax revenues from the entire first phase of the development are estimated to generate $1.6 million for the City of Decatur's general fund, $375,000 for the Decatur City School System, $280,000 for the Limestone County Commission's general fund and $2.3 million for the Limestone County School System.

 

"I can't begin to say how excited we are about working with Genesis in Decatur. This is a very dynamic project that has all the elements to be something really special. Our retail partners are excited about the potential of this market," said Greg Lutz, president of Midtown Niki Development Partners (www.midtownniki.com). "We feel that this development will have an immediate regional draw, as is evident by the interest from the big box retail, hotel and convention center. This project will be one that we will be focusing on for the next several years."

 

Sweetwater will ensure Decatur's spot as a destination for tourism for those in northern Alabama, southern Tennessee and northern Mississippi, and will also become an attraction to those relocating to the area through BRAC.

 

"I believe while Decatur may claim the location of this enormous project, the effects will be felt across not only across north Alabama, but throughout the entire southeastern United States," said Tami Reist, president of the Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Decatur's central location allows visitors convenient access to other major attractions and fishing areas in the region. It is a win-win for tourism locally and regionally, as well as on the state level." 

 

Award-winning in concept and design, Bass Pro Shops retail stores are rated as top tourist destinations. Over 90 million people visit their stores annually. Widely recognized for their efforts in conservation and outdoor education, Bass Pro Shops stores also offer Outdoor Skills Workshops for adults, kids and families.

 

Bass Pro Shops stores are a combination of museum, art gallery, aquarium, outdoor education, conservation and entertainment. Each store is uniquely themed to the region in which they are located so that no two stores are alike.

 

"We are very excited to be a part of this great regional location in Decatur as our fourth Bass Pro Shops store in Alabama," said Bass Pro Shops President Jim Hagale. "The store will be a tribute to the great sporting tradition and heritage of the region and a celebration of the sporting men and women of Alabama."

 

Bass Pro Shops, known for hiring associates that have a passion for the outdoors, is expected to employ approximately 300 people, many of whom will come from the local region.

 

 

"We could not have brought this development to Decatur without the help of Mayor Don Kyle, members of the Decatur City Council, the officials with the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of commerce, State Senator Arthur Orr and other local officials," said Gary Glover with Genesis.

 

About Bass Pro Shops

Headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, Bass Pro Shops, also an international catalog and internet retailer, currently has 49 retail locations in 27 states and Canada. In addition, Bass Pro Shops, also provides products and services for thousands of independent dealers world wide through its subsidiary company, American Rod & Gun.  To request a free catalog call 1-800-BASS PRO.

 

About Sweetwater

Sweetwater is a planned mixed-use retail, entertainment, office and residential development to be located on 540 acres in Decatur, Ala., being developed by Genesis U.S.A. Development, LLC.