Anne Arundel sporting enthusiasts soon will have the chance to anglefor the right fishing rod among more than 1,000 choices in a discount "megastore."
The Sports Authority, a sporting goods subsidiary of Kmart, plans to open two stores in the Baltimore area by fall. Construction of the Glen Burnie and White Marsh stores, part of the chain's expansion in the mid-Atlantic region, started a few weeks ago, company officials said.
Billed as "mega stores" because they carry a wide variety of discounted, brand-name sports equipment, the Sports Authority branches "have all the merchandise you want under one roof," said company spokesman William Lehrburger. "Whether you want the right tennis racket or new shoes, we have it," he said.
Maryland's first Sports Authority store opened in August in Greenbelt, Prince George's County, and serves primarily the Washington-area market. Both Baltimore-area stores are being built next to Price Club discount outlets, which sold off land for complementary specialty stores like the Home Depot.
Kasco Chesapeake Builders Inc., a Reisterstown-based general contractor, is developing the $5.5 million project, including both stores and a strip shopping center in White Marsh.
Construction workers already have poured the foundation of the 41,000-square-foot store off Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie. Kasco excavated a parking lot that was owned by the Price Club for the Sports Authority store. The builders intend to recycle the asphalt by using it as the base for a 200-space parking lot for the sporting goods store, said William Bunter, a Kasco spokesman.
"It's a good environmental move, and it also will save us several thousand dollars," he said.
The $1.75 million store will be completed by the end of summer, Bunter said. Construction is scheduled to be finished by August, leaving a month for another company to install lights and fixtures, he said.
About 10,000 square feet larger than its Glen Burnie counterpart, the White Marsh store also is slated to open this fall. A 10,000-square-foot strip shopping mall will round out that project, Bunter said.
Founded in 1987, the Florida-based sporting goods chain was acquired by Kmart last March. The Sports Authority has 19 stores and plans to expand nationwide by about 15 stores a year, Lehrburger said. The chain has spread from Florida to include stores in Philadelphia, Detroit and Virginia.