After nearly a decade of having property at the Streets of West Chester, Bass Pro Shops will finally be built there.
The unique retailer has applied for a building permit with the Butler County Development Department and filed plans with the township for a 123,348 square foot building on Allen Road. West Chester Twp. Economic Development Manager Katy Kanelopoulos said according to the plans — submitted in September — it appears there will also be a 20,000 square-foot restaurant inside the store.
“We anticipate that this will happen but we’re still in the permitting phase right now,” she said. “We’re excited because the Streets of West Chester already has some great anchors there with Top Golf and Main Event, I think this will really solidify that this is a destination location for the Streets of West Chester and the greater Union Centre area.”
According to the Butler County Auditor’s website Bass Pro Shops, bought the property for $6.5 million in November 2013. They received approval for a zoning variances related to a sign and some other matters in 2015 but the store never materialized.
The Journal-News reached out to the giant retailer several times but they did not reply. The township said they have also received few concrete details from the developer other than the plans.
“It is essentially the same plan that they initially pursued,” she said. “I think obviously this is probably put in place knowing at some they would need to move from the (Forest Fair) mall and that day has come, the mall is going to be taken down so I think at this point in time it’s for real, but they have not told us a timeline yet.”
The county land bank just received nearly $8 million from the state to demolish part of the mall property. The Bass Pro Shop is located on the Forest Park side of the property and is still operating, “obviously long-term they’re not going to be able to stay there,” Kanelopoulus said.
The county’s development Director David Fehr said they received the building permit application Oct. 20 and it will take a few weeks for the approval process but then “they can start moving dirt and constructing their building.” He said typically a building of this size takes about 18 months to complete.
“We are excited to have Bass Pro here and obviously the county benefits from all the sales tax sold there and it’s a convenience for our residents,” Fehr said. “We’re glad to see that they’re finally moving forward with the project.”