DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - A project development and funding agreement released Monday afternoon indicates Bass Pro Shop will be part of the Sweetwater development.
The project involves the city of Decatur, Bass Pro Outdoor World, L.C.C. and Genesis USA Development, L.C.C.
The development, planned for the Limestone County side of Decatur at the corner of Alabama 20 and Interstate 65, will be developed by Genesis as a commercial shopping center. According to the agreement, Bass Pro will build a store at the location and operate for no less than 20 years.
[Click here to read the agreement (pdf)]
The agreement also includes and overpass to allow drivers to get to and from the development safely and without causing traffic delays on I-65. Mayor Don Kyle said that thoroughfare is an important part of the deal. "We've got tens of thousands of people that travel I-65 north and south every day, and those people are new customer prospects when we put a store that'll be as visible as this one," he said.
Monday's announcement was the culmination of an eight year "on again, off again" relationship between Decatur and Sweetwater. "It started in 2006," said Councilman Gary Hammon. "We'd negotiate for six months, couldn't get where we needed to, lay off for a few years, then come back."
The full development would include more retailers, a hotel and restaurants. If Bass Pro does open a Decatur location, it would be the fourth such location in Alabama. The others are located in Prattville, Spanish Fort, and Leeds.
Kyle said the first phase of the development is expected to generate 400 jobs. 15-20 years down the line, they expect 500 acres of land to be utilized, and over 4,000 jobs created.
A public hearing will be held on March 17 at the Decatur City Council meeting when the council will also vote on the project. Until then, city leaders are excited for the latest development in the Sweetwater saga.
"This is a game changer for the whole region," said Hammon. "It really is."
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