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Sports, outdoors retail chain opening in McDonough

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Academy Sports + Outdoors, a Southeast-based sports and outdoors lifestyle retail chain, recently announced the debut of its first store in the Atlanta area.

The store is a sports apparel and equipment retailer, located at 198 South Point Blvd., in McDonough. Encompassing nearly 72,000 square feet, it will be the fourth Academy Sports + Outdoors in the state, and the newest retailer on the 125-acre South Point Development in central Henry County.

The retailer opens Friday, and is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the area, according to the company's release, distributed through the PR Newswire, a global news and information distribution service.

"We've been excited about the Atlanta market for some time," said John Hay, the vice president of real estate for the retail chain, in a written statement. "McDonough is the first opportunity for Academy Sports + Outdoors to establish its active family offering in one of the biggest and most vibrant markets in the United States.

"We also look forward to getting involved as an active member of the Atlanta community with youth sports leagues," he continued, "as well as other grassroots programs, as we are committed to growing our presence in the Atlanta market over the next two years."

A private ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for today, according to the release. The day's activities will include a private give-back event in which 40 children from Henry County's Walnut Creek Elementary School will be treated to a shopping spree.

Rachel Ballew, secretary at Walnut Creek, confirmed the activity in which each child will receive a $100 gift card to shop with a personal shopping assistant, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The opening of the Academy store at South Point, brings the development's total retail space to approximately 325,000 square feet, of the estimated 600,000 square feet planned in its first phase of construction and leasing, according to Jim Baker, a developer and the president of the Atlanta-based Chaseland Corporation and Baker & Lassiter, Inc.

"South Point is grateful that Academy chose South Point and McDonough to be the very first store that it opens in Atlanta, with others to follow near term," Baker said. "We believe that the South Point Academy Store will rank very high as compared to other Academy Stores throughout the Southeast. This has been the case with every store that has opened to date at South Point."

Developer Jim Baker has many ties and endeavors within the Henry and Clayton county communities, and he is a managing partner of the real estate and retail partnership, known as South Point Retail Partners. The partnership also includes Richard Lester, John Dinos, and Ralph Conti.

"The recent census has shown that Henry County has had tremendous growth for the past 10 years, and it is showing up in the volumes of sales that are impressive to the national tenants now lining up at South Point," Baker said. "South Point has been one of the only ‘lifestyle power centers' under construction on the East Coast of the United States, during this real estate downturn..."

Construction of an additional 165,000 square feet of retail space at South Point is planned for the balance of 2011, with store openings in early 2012, added Baker. He said he expects the remaining retail space to be completed during 2012.

Academy Sports + Outdoors, plans to celebrate its grand opening April 15-17. For store hours, visit www.academy.com.