Mayor Chris Beutler and officials with SouthPointe Pavilions and Scheels today announced that the sporting goods retailer will invest about $84 million in a new larger store and other improvements at the south Lincoln shopping center. The new Lincoln store will be modeled after the flagship store in Overland Park, Kansas that opened in June and includes a Ferris wheel, aquarium, sports simulators and an exhibit on U.S. Presidents.
The proposed project also includes the construction of a two-story, $19 million City parking garage and the relocation of four existing businesses. The 220,000-square-foot sporting goods store will be nearly three times the size of the existing Scheels and will be built on the current site of the Michael's, Famous Footwear and Dressbarn stores. The new Scheels will employ about 130 full-time and 200 part-time positions.
"The $103 million investment represents one of the largest public-private redevelopment projects in the history of the City," Mayor Beutler said. "With its combination of top quality goods and family entertainment, the new Scheels store will become a new must-see destination for our residents and visitors. The City is proud to be a partner with Scheels and SouthPointe in bringing this exciting new concept to Lincoln."
"We believe that Scheels is a great complement to this strong economy and active lifestyle," said Steve Scheel, CEO of Scheels. "We are proud to partner with the City of Lincoln and SouthPointe Pavilions and looking forward to presenting our new flagship store to Lincoln and all those who travel here to enjoy the Capital City."
It's amazing to think that SouthPointe Pavilions will soon celebrate its 20th anniversary," said Jeff McMahon, Managing Partner of RED Development, LLC, owner of SouthPointe Pavilions. "What began as a cornfield is now one of the most vital intersections in Lincoln. Like homes, it's important to update shopping centers, not only to offer more shopping and entertainment, but to remain a vibrant and active business in our community. We are absolutely honored to partner with Scheels and the City of Lincoln on this incredible project."
The new 1,000-space parking garage will be free to use and will include 20,000 square feet of retail space. The City would use a financing tool that shifts the burden of paying for the public parking garage away from City taxpayers to those who will benefit from the improvements. Mike Lang, Economic Development Aide to Mayor Beutler, said the tool allows the City to essentially implement a user fee.
After the City creates an Enhanced Employment Area at SouthPointe, State law allows the retail establishments in the area to assess a one-percent occupation tax to fund construction of the garage. Food and beverage sales would be excluded from the assessment. Lang said about 38 percent of all Scheels sales now come from outside of Lancaster County, and that percentage is expected to grow once the new flagship store opens, bringing even more new dollars into the community.
The project is scheduled to begin immediately, with a new Valentino's restaurant set to open in April. The current Food Court building will be demolished. In fall 2016, a new Michael's store will be completed, and Dressbarn and Famous Footwear will be relocated. Their existing building will be demolished, and construction on the new Scheels is expected to begin in November. The new store is scheduled to open in November 2018, when the existing Scheels will be demolished for construction of the new garage, scheduled to open in October 2019. The construction projects are expected to create about 500 full-time jobs. SouthPointe is working with StarTran on a new and improved bus stop location within the project.
A meeting for neighborhood property owners is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 8 at Scott Middle School, 2200 Pine Lake Road. The meeting will be in room 103, the first floor multi-purpose room. The meeting is an opportunity for RED and Scheels to share information, answer questions and hear input.