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Academy Sports, Guitar Center coming to Harbison area

krupon@ thestate.com (803) 771-8308November 5, 2013 

— An Academy Sports + Outdoors will anchor a new 116,000-square-foot shopping center planned to open in the Harbison area next summer.

The center also includes a Guitar Center, a California-based chain that has locations in Greenville and Charleston but will be new to the Columbia market, according to a site plan.

The plan for the development on Park Terrace Drive at Bower Parkway was approved this week by the City of Columbia’s planning commission, planning director Krista Hampton said. Demolition started Wednesday on the former Staples and other vacant buildings on the site, said Matt Rinker, who is with the developer the Seitz Group, out of Dallas.

The plan also includes spots for nearly a dozen smaller retailers. Those could accommodate restaurants, stores and service professionals, he said.

Construction should begin quickly after demolition is complete, Rinker said, and will take about six months. That would mean most of the retailers in the center likely would open around summer, he said.

Academy entered the Columbia market two years ago, building a 69,000-square-foot store in the Village at Sandhill in Northeast Richland.

That location has sections for nearly every sport, from hunting and lacrosse to football and golf, including an archery range for trying out bows and a in-store facility for testing golf clubs. It sells a range of shoes and clothing, as well as a variety of outdoor-living items.

The Guitar Center sells a range of musical instruments and accessories – from guitars and keyboards to DJ equipment and stage lighting, as well as products to “suit the needs of any gigging musician,” according to its website. It also sells products for beginning musicians.

The retailer has more than 250 stores nationwide.

The Park Terrace Drive site has undergone several changes over the past few years, starting with a fire that shut down a barbecue restaurant there. Staples closed its store earlier this year, moving into a new adjacent strip mall that also features a DSW shoe store and a Home Goods. A consignment shop at the site also closed this year as plans for the new development got underway.

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