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Rentschler Retail Goes Wild

Cabela's Plans To Build Massive 'Outdoor Experience' Store

August 11, 2005
By DAN UHLINGER, Courant Staff Writer

EAST HARTFORD -- Cabela's Inc., one of the country's largest direct marketers of outdoor merchandise, confirmed Wednesday that it is planning its first destination superstore in New England at the former Rentschler airfield.

The 200,000-square-foot "outdoor experience" store, to be located on a 10-acre lake, would be the centerpiece of the new $2 billion development envisioned for the former airfield owned by United Technologies Inc., said Dan Matos, Rentschler's developer.

Mayor Timothy D. Larson said Wednesday that the store, with its museum, aquarium, restaurant and other amenities, could draw 3 million to 4 million visitors annually and complement the Adriaen's Landing redevelopment across the Connecticut River in Hartford.

"This will rival and give credence to the whole capital region," Larson said.

Cabela's and ING Group, which is also negotiating with state officials and the developer to move 2,000 workers from Hartford to a new building at Rentschler, would be the first tenants to occupy the 650-acre, mixed-use development in East Hartford.

To help lure the companies, the town council scheduled a special meeting tonight and is expected to approve separate tax abatement agreements with Cabela's and ING, a financial services company, that would be worth more than $7 million in tax savings for the companies over the next seven years, Larson said.

The companies are also negotiating funding incentives with the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

Larson said the state's agreements with both companies were contingent on the town's approval of the tax abatements. Once the town acts favorably, the state could conclude its negotiations and announce the agreements. Larson would not say when that might occur, and state officials would not comment.

State Sen. Gary D. LeBeau, D-East Hartford, chairman of the legislature's commerce committee, which oversees the DECD, said that from his "reading of the tea leaves," an announcement of a state funding package could come soon.

| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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