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
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.