Gander Mountain moving to northeast Cedar Rapids in 2017

Outdoor gear retailer will anchor Northtowne Market

A new 52,000-square-foot Gander Mountain will anchor the Northtowne Market shopping center, a 35-acre mixed-use commercial development under construction along Blairs Ferry Road NE in Cedar Rapids on Monday, September 12, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
A new 52,000-square-foot Gander Mountain will anchor the Northtowne Market shopping center, a 35-acre mixed-use commercial development under construction along Blairs Ferry Road NE in Cedar Rapids on Monday, September 12, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Outdoor gear retailer Gander Mountain to relocate to northeast Cedar Rapids in spring 2017 as the anchor store of the 35-acre Northtowne Market shopping center on Blairs Ferry Road NE.

The new 52,000-square-foot Gander Mountain will replace an existing 31,080-square-foot store in Westwood Plaza at 2140 Edgewood Rd. SW. The St. Paul, Minn., retailer opened its existing store in 2000.

Since 2012, Gander Mountain has opened more than 55 new stores throughout the country, and remodeled most of the company’s existing stores.

Hunter Companies of Cedar Rapids is developing Northtowne Market, a $16-million to $20-million mixed-use project that was approved for tax increment financing by the Cedar Rapids City Council in 2014. The city estimated a tax savings to Hunter Companies of $2.1 million for five years and the payment of $6.4 million in property taxes over the next 15 years.

Hunter Companies acquired the former Nash Finch Foods warehouse and related property in late 2014 and demolished the buildings. Construction is progressing on several structures in addition to the Gander Mountain building.

When Gander Mountain moves to Northtowne Market, Westwood Plaza will be left with two vacant anchor stores.

Nash Finch of Minneapolis closed a 65,284-square-foot Econofoods supermarket in November 2006, but will continue to pay rent through September 2020 under its lease agreement.

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Westwood Plaza, a 168,300-square-foot commercial center. was the subject of an auction Aug. 8 through Aug. 10 with a starting bid of $3 million, according to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank of New York.

Westwood Plaza has a 75 percent occupancy rate, according to information provided for potential bidders.

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