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Gander Mountain announces planned 'soft-opening' in September in Martinez

Posted: August 2, 2014 - 11:13pm
 The new Gander Mountain store under construction in Columbia County.  A sign on the front says that the outdoors outlet's opening is set for Sept. 23rd.      Photos by Michael Holahan
Photos by Michael Holahan
The new Gander Mountain store under construction in Columbia County. A sign on the front says that the outdoors outlet's opening is set for Sept. 23rd.

Hiring is underway for the new Gander Mountain outdoors store in preparation of a September opening.

A soft opening for the new 52,000-square-foot Gander Mountain store at 145 Mason McKnight Jr. Park­way is scheduled for Sept. 23, while the grand opening will be held the following week, on Oct. 3, said company spokesman Jess Myers.

The Minnesota-based retailer will employ 60 part- and full-time workers, and up to 40 seasonal employees, at the new Martinez store, Myers said.

An hourly hiring event at the new location will be held Aug. 4.

Gander Mountain and Columbia County officials announced in early February plans of bringing the store to the property off Interstate 20 and Flowing Wells Road, near the Richmond County border.

The land had been designated for a Bass Pro Shops location, but last October, the Missouri-based company nixed building a 50,000-square-foot outpost store.

“It’s really progressing very quickly,” said John Engler, the vice president of McKnight Properties, which is developing the site. “It’s probably a good 30 to 45 days earlier then we expected.”

Engler envisions the Gander Mountain project as part of a 200,000-square-foot retail center.

Once the new store is completed, there are about 60 acres extending into Richmond County left to develop.

The northern portion has been graded, Engler added.

“We could literally start work as quickly as we could get plans approved,” he said.

The property’s location, visible from the interstate and central to both Columbia and Richmond counties, is proving an asset for attracting other companies, Engler said.

“We’ve heard from soft-good retailers, from hotels, restaurants, even potentially some office (tenants),” he said. “And, then we’ve heard from some grocery stores.

“We’re really ready to go, and so I think we’ll start seeing quite a bit of activity coming soon.”

The new Gander Mountain store will sell hunting, fishing, camping, boating and archery gear in addition to firearms and apparel.

The outdoor lifestyle retailer has 142 stores nationwide, with three locations already existing in Georgia.

In addition to the Augusta store, a new Gander Mountain retail outlet is scheduled to open this fall in Newnan, near Atlanta.

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