ADAIRSVILLE, GA-Cabela’s Inc., plans to open a 165,000-sf showroom by yearend 2007 in this Bartow County town, 45 miles northwest of Downtown Atlanta. The 45-year-old international retailer of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational equipment will build the store on about 40 acres of a 400-acre development near Interstate 75 and GA 140 at the Union Grove Interchange.

Cabela’s investment in its first store in Georgia and the Southeast will be “in the $30-million to $40-million range,” a Cabela’s spokesperson, tells GlobeSt.com. “We are only at the starting design stage now and have no floor plans or definite (development) cost numbers yet.”

The spokesperson says escalating construction costs for labor and material still have to be incorporated into a final estimated development cost. Atlanta area construction sources tell GlobeSt.com the estimate is “in line” with estimated hard construction costs of about $230 to $250 per sf for a store of Cabela’s stature. “They won’t be putting up a Wal-Mart-styled building so their costs are going to be appreciably higher,” an Atlanta general contractor familiar with the construction of specialty retail locations tells GlobeSt.com.

The spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com Adairsville was selected instead of a larger community nearer to Downtown Atlanta because “it fits our model” for development of new locations. “It’s along a major interstate highway; it will be at the corner of a heavily trafficked intersection; it is near Chattanooga, Tennessee and the Alabama border; it is in the path of near-future commercial real estate development growth; and the community in general welcomes our entrance to their area.”

The spokesperson concedes the construction of the store will be “on a fast track … but then again, we have done similar projects in this short a time so we are confident we can meet all deadlines.” Cabela president and CEO Dennis Highby says Georgia was selected for the company’s first Southeast store because the state “has been a great supporter of Cabela’s for many years, through our catalogs and Internet site.”

Highby says the Adairsville store will be “a high-volume, large-format Tier 1 store, built in Cabela’s trademark style that evokes the feeling of the outdoors.” Cabela expects to hire about 350 local residents to run the new store. The company has 14 retail locations nationally. The Hamburg, PA store, at 240,000 sf, is the largest. Most locations are approximately 165,000-sf.

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