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Plaza Fiesta coming down to make way for Cabela’s

A shopping mainstay of Interstate 77 in Fort Mill will come down next year to make way for a big-name destination retailer.

The Cabela’s chain of outdoor and sporting goods stores said Wednesday it will build a location next year on the site of the Plaza Fiesta shopping center.

The new store comes as the Nebraska-based chain embarks on an expansion into the Southeast. But it will mark the end of Plaza Fiesta, a longtime local landmark that catered to Charlotte’s growing Hispanic population over the last few years.

Cabela’s new 97,500-square-foot store will be visible from Interstate 77 across from the Carowinds amusement park. It will employ about 225 full- and part-time workers. Spokesman Wes Remmer said the company was drawn by the population of clients the chain already has in the area, judging by its catalog and online sales.

Cabela’s sells hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and camping gear. The store in Fort Mill will also have an antique gun library, indoor archery range, full-service boat shop and deli.

The chain’s current closest location to Charlotte is in West Virginia. Cabela’s is also building new stores in Garner, just south of Raleigh, and Greenville, S.C.

Cabela’s said it purchased the land in Fort Mill, but declined to give details on the transaction. Demolition is scheduled for the spring, Remmer said.

‘We hate to leave’

The plans confirm the fears of Plaza Fiesta tenants, who told the Observer last month that property managers announced leases could be terminated at the end of December.

The phone number to reach Plaza Fiesta management was no longer working Wednesday. Rialto Capital Management, the former owner of the site, declined to comment.

But store owners confirmed that employees have been notified.

Hamrick’s, the South Carolina-based clothing chain, has set a date to close its location in early February, spokeswoman Hayden Trnavsky said.

“We hate to leave, certainly. We’ve been there for quite a while,” she said. “We hope to return.”

The shopping center launched in the mid-1990s as the CrossRoads Mall/Outlet Marketplace. It was bought in 2007 by Atlanta-based Capital City Development, which had plans to turn it into a Hispanic-focused retail outlet and add apartments and soccer fields.

But the property soon fell into foreclosure and was taken back by BB&T. The lender added a branch and a Sprint store there in 2009, and the number of tenants hit 120.

Rialto bought Plaza Fiesta in 2011. At last count, there were about 60 stores still open at the shopping center.

Dunn: 704-358-5235; Twitter: @andrew_dunn
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