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PHILADELPHIA-Sidney, NE-based Cabela’s Retail Inc. will build a 225,000-sf store, its first on the East Coast, on a 100-acre site at I 78 and Route 61 in Tilden Township in Berks County, PA. The outdoor outfitter that currently operates eight stores in the Midwest and a thriving mail-order business expects to begin construction immediately and open in fall 2003.

Led by the state, numerous municipalities and public agencies kicked in to sweeten the pie by about $27 million for Cabela’s.

The state will invest $7 million, including a $1-million opportunity grant for project construction and site costs, $1 million in customized job training funds and $5 million for building a ramp to improve Route 61 and other public roadways in the district. The state will also add $5 million in capital budget funds.

Tilden Township, Hamburg School District, and the Berks County Industrial Authority agreed to earmark 65% of the country, township, and school taxes earned from Cabela’s and related development during the next 20 years for infrastructure improvements at the projected site. This contribution is estimated at $15 million.

The retailer will invest at least $20 million in private matching funds for construction of the project.

Gov. Mark Schweiker says in a statement the retailer’s presence would createnearly 700 jobs. “The implications of this project go far beyond the hundredsof jobs. . .It goes even beyond all the support (to) jobs and businesses that will thrive alongside it. Cabela’s are major tourist attractions.”

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