PINEVILLE, NC-Dick’s Clothing & Sporting Goods, a 102-store, 52-year-old Pittsburgh-based chain, is demolishing the former Cedar Springs Hospital building, just south of Charlotte, and plans to open the first of five area stores next summer on the seven-acre site. The retailer paid Carolinas HealthCare System $2.9 million or $414,255 per acre ($9.51 per sf) for the property, across NC 51 from Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, NC.

Dick’s first store will be 45,000 sf. The retailer has existing units in the North Carolina cities of Cary, Durham, Greensboro, Wilmington. A new store is under construction in Asheville. The chain competes with other category-killers such as Sports Authority which operates a store in Pineville near Dick’s new site. Sporting goods retailers are experiencing tough times. Tampa-based JumboSports, for example, liquidated 42 stores, including two last year in the Charlotte area, after struggling with expansion and inventory control problems.

According to a published report, the chain’s roots can be traced to founder Dick Stack’s grandmother, who gave him $300 in 1948 and told him to follow his dreams. He opened a bait-and-tackle shop in Binghamton, NY, and by 1958 his loyal customers had convinced him to expand his line of products.

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