A major outdoor sports retail store under construction in Atlantic City has announced on its website that the store's opening will be in 2015, but officials said construction plans remain on track.
Bass Pro Shops broke ground in October on a project dependent on more than $34 million in public funding. The 86,000-square-foot store is under construction at Atlantic and Missouri avenues.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, officials said the store would open between fall 2014 and spring 2015, but according to Bass Pro's website, the opening will fall into the latter half of those projections. The store is expected to employ at least 200 people, but its website states that the company is not accepting applications for full-time or part-time positions because plans "to open the Atlantic City store have been postponed until 2015."
Katie Mitchell, communications manager for the Bass Pro Shops Group, said construction is under way and the company remains committed to Atlantic City.
"Our stores are destination sites and very unique in design and quality. ... As such, the construction process and time line can vary," Mitchell said. "We are absolutely moving forward with this project and want to ensure the residents and visitors in that area that they get the very best shopping experience possible."
The company has not released its exact construction costs, but they are expected to be upward of $20 million. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has committed a $12.3 million loan to the project being developed by Baltimore-based Cordish Co. An additional $11 million over 11 years is expected as part of a tax-abatement plan. The CRDA-owned land used for the store is assessed at another $11 million.
Kim Butler, a spokeswoman for the CRDA, was not familiar with the statement on Bass Pro's website, but said the project remains on track.
Cordish, which holds development rights for the property through a 2002 agreement, has until the end of March to complete permitting and other preparatory work before turning over the project to Bass Pro, Butler said.
"There are no delays. The construction process has many phases," Butler said. "The first process - the preparation for physical construction - is the most important and not one that can be rushed. Everything is moving forward within prescribed time lines."
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