Cindi Andrews reports:
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, considered a big catch when Forest Fair Village landed it in 2000, is escaping to West Chester.
The new location for the outdoor retailer will be 150,000 square feet, larger than the current 130,000 square feet, and include an Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill, the company announced Friday afternoon.
“Our new store will enable us to better serve the region’s many sportsmen and women,” said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops.
It will be located at the Union Centre Boulevard exit of Interstate 75. Construction is set to begin in 2014 and the new Bass Pro Shops will open in 2015.
The departure is yet another blow for the mall that straddles Fairfield and Forest Park; in recent years it has also lost Saks Off Fifth to Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe.
The mall is in the process of changing its name from Cincinnati Mall to Forest Fair Village. It was originally Forest Fair Mall and has also been called Cincinnati Mills. The property, which has struggled almost from day one, is changing its focus from retail to a mix of uses.
Non-retail tenants include Arcade Legacy, Bee Active Adventure Zone and a Lakota Robotic program.
The old Bass Pro Shops will close when the new one opens, spokeswoman Katie Mitchell said. The move may mean additional jobs because of the new store’s larger size, she said.
“We just outgrew” the old location, Mitchell said.
The outdoor retailer has 79 locations across the United States and Canada.