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Bass Pro Shop taking a closer look at two Tulsa locations

Bass Pro Shops apparently has plans to open a store in Tulsa. But where would the outdoor sporting giant build? That's the big question now.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says not long ago, Bass Pro Shops wouldn't even admit they were looking at Tulsa. But there are two developers in town trying to hook the retailers. And one has gotten a letter of intent from Bass Pro.

Bass Pro Shops represent a very big fish. With more than $1-billion in revenues and nearly 9,000 employees, they're one of the biggest private companies in the nation and growing fast. According to sources, the two possible Tulsa sites, at least the ones we know of, include "downtown" Tulsa between 7th and 8th next to the Inner-Dispersal-Loop, which would provide a huge boon to downtown development and jumpstart the East Village project.

The other is just north of the Mathis Brothers store near 71st street and Highway 169, providing another feather in the cap for the retail-rich region.

The News on 6 has learned that last month Bass Pro Shops gave the southside developer a letter of intent, which certainly "sounds" like they intend to locate there, but it has numerous contingencies, including an upgrade of city streets to the site, and an upgrade of the off-ramps at 61st Street. It's also unclear whether this letter of intent is legally binding.

The downtown site reportedly has no letter of intent from Bass Pro. But it has its "own" bait. A possible Tax Increment Financing District, or "TIF", which could be a strong incentive for Bass Pro.

Wherever they locate in Tulsa, city officials say it will benefit Tulsa. We talked with both developers Thursday, and as you might expect, both feel strongly about their chances. Who’s right? We'll just have to stay tuned.
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