The Valdosta Daily Times
The new Academy Sports & Outdoors will be open in time for Christmas shopping this year, as the developer announced plans for the store and other retailers on Friday.
Andrew Mattiace, president of Mattiace Properties, said as the preferred developer for Academy Sports, the land purchase will be final this week and construction will begin as soon as possible on the 71,680 square foot retail store.
Academy Sports will be located on a parcel of land inside a larger development planned for the property on Norman Drive, across from Sam’s Club. Mattiace’s company has the option to purchase additional acres from the owners, Meacham Farms, for the development of phases two and three, with plans for at least two more phases beyond that.
“Phase one is Academy Sports, and we have adjacent stores set to open in 2013, with four additional retailers,” said Mattiace.”We’re considering two national stores and two restaurants, which will be located on the same parcel as Academy Sports (see map of development on Page 7A).”
Beyond that, Mattiace said his company does have plans for phase three in 2013 or 2014, but said they are preliminary at this time, and there are tentative plans for two additional phases in the future.
Mattiace said his company serves as the “preferred developer” for Academy Sports, and the national retailer is the one who set its sights on Valdosta.
“We’d been looking in Georgia, but also in the Carolinas and Florida, and they were deciding where they wanted to go next. Academy identified Valdosta as a great growth market and the site was selected,” he said.
Mattiace Properties will own the land and construct the building, which will be leased long-term to Academy.
“They’re a growing company. Academy’s footprint is pretty broad through the West and Southwest, into Tennessee, and is now expanding beyond that into the Southeast.”
Mattiace said the company has plans to continue to expand the footprint and grow, with complementary tenants, all of which will be well known national retailers not currently available in this market.
“There is a great potential for further development beyond this, as this sets the stage for bringing in prominent national retailers for this entire site.”
He was hesitant about mentioning any names, but did indicate that the stores will be a welcome addition to Valdosta, in line with the ones the community has indicated they’d like to see locate here in previous Times’ Business Wish Lists.
Mattiace said that it’s important to him to mention how accommodating the city leadership has been throughout the process of acquiring the land, negotiating, site plan development, etc.
“I found the elected officials and staff, especially the city manager, to be very professional and this has been a very good experience. The city is very pro-economic development, and that means a lot to a development firm.”
Mattiace added that the property’s owners, attorney Bill Langdale and Jimmy Dewar, partners in Meacham Farms, were “wonderful people and very professional. They were hard traders, but we really enjoyed that relationship.”
The initial purchase is 8.48 acres with an option for 15 to 20 additional acres for phases two and three. The entire parcel is nearly 100 acres, and stretches from River St. to Norman Drive, and down to Spring Chase Apartments.
Although there are a number of small parcels between the back of the property and St. Augustine Road, the city has stated previously that one day, it is hoped that they will be able to run a connecting road through this new development to St. Augustine to connect to Lankford Drive.
The city is working on the installation of a traffic signal where the road into the development will align with the driveway at Sam’s Club to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.
Academy Sports & Outdoors is a sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a broad assortment of hunting, fishing and camping equipment, leisure products, apparel and more.
Mattiace Properties is located in Jackson, Miss. and has developed similar lifestyle centers, including the recent upscale Renaissance at Colony Park development in Mississippi.
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