Academy Sports + Outdoors coming to south shopping center?

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CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman continues to grow – with new housing developments, retail expansions and in this case, a new retail development in the form of Academy Sports + Outdoors.

In a press release from on March 26, 2024, Academy Sports + Outdoors outlined and revealed some of the strategies from behind the scenes.

The press release started by stating the following:

“Academy Sports + Outdoors (“Academy”) (Nasdaq: ASO) a leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer, is excited to announce it will open 15-17 new stores in its fiscal 2024 year, starting with two new stores in the first quarter in Knightdale, North Carolina and Greenwood, Indiana.”

It continued with, “Academy Sports + Outdoors is excited to provide our customers with new convenient stores that carry a localized assortment that meets the needs of active families in these communities,” said Eric Friederich, senior vice president of retail operations at Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The Tribune has reached out to Friederich, but at the time of the publication no response was given.

Academy also offers free services such as grill and bike assembly, scope mounting, bore sighting, line winding/spooling, and propane exchange. Hunting and fishing licenses are also available to purchase in stores.

Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs stated Friday afternoon, “The City would love to share info at this time, but we are bound not to disclose any information on a retail project we are currently negotiating. Hopefully we will be able to answer questions in the near future.”

A legal advertisement, which must be run one week before the Cullman City Council meeting, lays out the majority of the plans with the exception of naming Academy.

Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Dale Greer said, “I will not discuss this specific project but will say the request is to reimburse a portion of a sales tax that this project generates.”

In the legal it states the council “will meet in public session at 7:00 p.m. on June 24, 2024, in the City Hall Auditorium located at 204 2nd Avenue NE, Cullman, Alabama 35055, for the purpose of considering the transaction of business that may properly come before the Council, such business to include, among other things, consideration of a resolution (the “Authorizing Resolution”) approving the execution and delivery of that certain Sporting Goods Store Project Development Agreement (the “Agreement”), to be dated its date of execution ,among the City, Cullman County (the “County”), and MTN, LTD, an Alabama limited partnership (“Developer”).

Those listed as the business entities and individuals who are involved in the project to whom or for whose benefit the City proposes to lend its credit or grant public funds or things of value are the Developer, the owners of which include Judy K White Trust, Karen L. Drinkard Trust, Natalie Smith-GR Trust, Tracy Smith Trust, Juliet Swann Trust, S. Michele Drinkard Trust, Drinkard Development LLC (RHD), Roy H. Drinkard and Jason Grimmett Trust.

According to the legal, which must run one week before the meeting, it is being run by the City with The Cullman Tribune, and the County will run it with The Cullman Times.

It states that the terms of the agreement address certain obligations of, “the City, the County, and Developer regarding the construction, development, and operation, on approximately seven (7) acres of real property located at the corner of King Edwards Street S.W. and the CSX railroad tracks within the City (the “Site”), of a major sporting goods retail store (the “Project”).  

It continues by stating, “under the Agreement, the City would be obligated to remit and pay to the Developer, from 50% of the proceeds of the City’s sales and use tax (presently levied by the City at a rate of 1.75%) from retail sales made within the Project, up to the maximum amount of not to exceed $1,167,000, for a period of up to ten (10) years from the opening of the Project.”

However, this is only done if approved, then the Agreement will be executed and delivered pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of Alabama, including, without limitation, Section 94.01 of the Constitution of Alabama of 2022 (formerly codified as Amendment No. 772 to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended). 

The legal reads, “The City has determined that the development of the Project will substantially expand and enhance the prosperity, contentment, and general welfare of the City and its residents by, among other things, (i) aiding in the elimination and remediation of blight and similar effects resulting from underuse of the Site; (ii) promoting enhancement and adaptive reuse of a high-visibility area of the City; (iii) bringing substantial commercial activity to an under developed area and fostering the use and development of underutilized commercial properties around the Site; (iv) helping improve the appearance and vibrancy of undeveloped areas of the City; (v) expanding commercial activity within the City; (vi) facilitating the growth and development of commercial sites and developments around the Site; (vii) supporting and expanding industrial and economic development within the City; and (viii) expanding jobs and employment opportunities within the City.”

About Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy is a leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer in the United States. Originally founded in 1938 as a family business in Texas, Academy has grown to 283 stores across 18 states. Academy’s mission is to provide “Fun for All” and Academy fulfills this mission with a localized merchandising strategy and value proposition that strongly connects with a broad range of consumers. Academy’s product assortment focuses on key categories of outdoor, apparel, sports & recreation and footwear through both leading national brands and a portfolio of private label brands. For more information, visit www.academy.com.