Dozens of people gathered to break ground on The Estuary development in Brandon Thursday, which will include a Bass Pro Shops.
In addition to Bass Pro, the complex is expected to include Topgolf entertainment facility including driving ranges, retail stores and themed restaurants.
"In my time on the County Commission we've never had an economic development opportunity that achieves nearly an immediate return on investment and creates such a significant amount of jobs," said Commission Ken Hagan, who called the project "unprecedented."
The county is investing $6.25 million into road and infrastructure improvements. The project is expected to create 3,200 jobs.
"We will receive our return on investment of six million dollars within three to four years and at that point we will be receiving over three million dollars in sales and property taxes a year from a piece of land that currently generates less than a thousand dollars a year," Hagan said.
Four miles down the road, the owner of T.A. Mahoney Co., which sells similar items as Bass Pro, isn't sharing in the excitement.
"We're going to have coffee and donuts because we're going to have nothing to do. It's going to be dead in here," Tom Mahoney said, describing Bass Pro's opening weekend. "Long-term it's not going to affect us much. In the short-term it's going to put a damper on our business for a little while."
Mahoney said he expects his business to eventually pick back up; his biggest complaints are theincentivess Bass Pro is receiving from the county.
"The small business owner means nothing to the county. It's the big guy. The big guy that brings in those dollars," Mahoney said.
Construction on Topgolf will likely be finished by this fall. Bass Pro will open some time in 2015.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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