Bass Pro Shops applied to the St. Johns County Growth Management Department on Sept. 6 for review of the master development plan for its proposed Outdoor World along World Commerce Parkway.
Bass Pro Shops announced May 19 it plans to open an Outdoor World retail store in St. Johns County in 2024. The address is 655 World Commerce Parkway in St. Augustine.
The retailer proposes to develop a 102,993-square-foot retail store on 18.11 acres it bought May 30 from World Commerce Center L.L.P., led by Jacksonville-based Steinemann-Wolfe L.L.C.
Bass Pro Outdoor World L.L.C., based in Springfield, Missouri, paid $8 million for the property.
RAA Design LLC of Alpharetta, Georgia, and Kinetic Design + Development LLC of Springfield are the project applicants and agents. Contineo Group LLC of Decatur, Georgia, is the civil engineer.
The site is in St. Augustine on vacant land along World Commerce Parkway south of Buc-ee’s and Costco Wholesale. It is west of Interstate 95 at the International Golf Parkway exit south of World Golf Village.
Bass Pro Shops said it will be the 13th Bass Pro Shops in Florida and expects to employ more than 115 “outfitters” at the store.
It said in the May news release it “has been searching for the perfect location to serve the greater Jacksonville market, and now with the astonishing growth to the south, into St. Johns County, this 100,000-square-foot location will be convenient and accessible for the entire region for years to come.”
By comparison, the Costco north of the planned Outdoor World is 162,000 square feet.
Bass Pro Shops sells fishing and outdoor gear for activities including hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping and more. The store will showcase boats, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles.
Plans filed with St. Johns County show a 27,000-square-foot outdoor showroom and boat display on the eastern side of the 18-acre site next to I-95.
Bass Pro Shops feature an aquarium and water features stocked with native fish species along with “thousands of local antiques and artifacts, hundreds of trophy fish and wildlife mounts, and murals depicting local scenes.”
The locations offer dozens of events throughout the year including hands-on demonstrations and interactive activities.
The company says it was founded in 1972 when Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield.
The announcement came after abandoned efforts to enter the Northeast Florida market.
Bass Pro Shops had been shown as a 100,000-square-foot store facing Florida 9B that would anchor Durbin Park East, but those plans were in flux when the pandemic shutdown began in spring 2020.
Plans surfaced 11 years ago for Bass Pro Shops when the retailer announced in 2012 it would open a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World by mid-2014, but that was delayed.
Bass Pro Shops announced in December 2012 it would open a 104,000-square-foot Outdoor World store at the new Florida 9B and I-95 interchange in Northern St. Johns County.
Bass Pro Shops said then the store would open in the second quarter of 2014 subject to completion of the new interchange and supporting road system.
Former St. Johns County Administrator Michael Wanchick said then that Bass Pro Shops also had considered a site at the World Commerce Center near World Golf Village.