UPDATE: Bass Pro Plans Store at Gateway Town Center in Little Rock

by Lance Turner  on Friday, Jun. 15, 2012 9:34 am  

A rendering of the Bass Pro Shops.

The Gateway Town Center marks the latest attempt by a central Arkansas real estate developers to lure Bass Pro Shops to the region.

In 2003, Belz-Burrow Development Group announced plans to develop what was originally billed as an $80 million retail complex on a swath of wetlands on the south side of Interstate 40 near the Lakewood exit in North Little Rock.

The 71-acre Shoppes at North Hills was to host a 850,000-SF upscale shopping center, a multiscreen cinema complex and a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store.

The project was scheduled to be complete in fall 2004, with other phases of the development complete by spring 2005. But developers scuttled the project after tangling with environmentalists over redeveloping the wetlands. 

The project also drew controversy over the developers' request for tax increment financing assistance. TIF reroutes increased property taxes from new development back to the developers rather than to schools and city government. Some observers decried what they considered the misuse of tax money, and Bass Pro's competing retailers objected to what they considered an unfair subsidy.

Hodges had already angled for the Bass Pro before Belz-Burrow announced their plans. His proposal would have given Bass Pro land for the store at the Gateway Town Center site, provided the state deliver a fitting package of tax incentives.

Shane Broadway, then a state senator from Bryant, introduced a bill in the Arkansas Legisture to give certain retailers the type of sales tax credits previously available only to tourist attractions, but the bill stalled in committee. 


Bass Pro Shops a Mecca for Men



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