Sunset Hills aldermen approve development plan for Bass Pro

New Bass Pro Shops plans to employ over 100 people

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A rendering of the proposed store.

By Erin Achenbach, News Editor

Bass Pro Shops is opening its third location in the region in Sunset Hills. 

The city’s Board of Aldermen unanimously voted 7-0 at its March 8 meeting to approve the amended development plan for Bass Pro to open its third store in the St. Louis area at the Shoppes at Sunset Hills shopping center, 3600 S. Lindbergh Blvd. Ward 4 Alderman Thompson Price was absent. 

Bass Pro Shops anticipates construction completion by September with a November opening. Demolition is expected to begin immediately. 

“In general, the plan is to begin immediately. They (Bass Pro) are in for permits currently, as well as demolition permits,” Grant Mechlin, managing director at Sansone Group, said. The Sansone Group is the owner of the shopping center. “As soon as they get permits, they would start on construction and the goal would be to be complete and open in November.” 

The shopping center itself was built in 1997 and consists of two parts: the 92,074-square-foot building that houses the former Toys “R” Us and Ross Dress for Less, as well as The Tile Shop — which will remain — and a 5,500 square-foot outparcel occupied by a LongHorn Steakhouse. Bass Pro is expected to occupy about 75,000-square feet of the center with plans to employ over 100 employees. 

In addition to the rebuild, the developer also has plans to develop Watson Road access to the center. Traffic concerns have dominated much of the discussion surrounding the project, in particular the ability of the existing shopping center entrance to handle increased traffic volumes, as well as the “weaving condition” created on Lindbergh Boulevard coming from eastbound Watson Road to the center. 

Mechlin previously told the board that the Missouri Department of Transportation had given conceptual approval of a right-in entrance from eastbound Watson Road to the shopping center to alleviate some of the weaving condition concerns. 

“As far as the MoDOT access, we have obviously made a lot of progress there. We would immediately release (engineers) … this week … to start on all the elements of that proposal that we need to accomplish including surveys, traffic engineering, traffic studies and final plans. The goal is to generate those plans in four to five months,” Mechlin said at the March meeting. “We’ve given ourselves nine months to complete the construction for the Watson Road access. … Our hope is in a perfect world is that the Bass Pro will be open in November before Thanksgiving and  that we will have Watson Road access completed by late first quarter to early second quarter 2023.” 

Read more in the March 31 edition of The Call.