Sportsman's Warehouse setting up camp at Kelso mall

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 9:00 pm

Sportsman’s Warehouse, a major outdoor sporting goods retailer, is moving into an anchor location in Kelso’s Three Rivers Mall that hasn’t had a permanent tenant since the Emporium closed in 2003.

This week, the city of Kelso received construction drawings from mall management for $1.2 million in interior improvements to the 42,000-square-foot space. The name “Sportsman’s Warehouse” is on the documents.

Over the last decade, the vast space has temporarily housed a used car dealer and a Pentecostal church. In the fall, it’s been leased by a Halloween store.

Sportsman’s Warehouse, which sells fishing, hunting and camping gear, is headquartered in Utah and has roughly 50 stores in 18 states. Its Washington locations are in Vancouver, Puyallup, Kennewick, Federal Way, Silverdale and East Wenatchee, according to the company's website.

Company officials did not respond to requests for comment. Mall manager Linda DiLembo said she would have more information to share early next week.

Friday, Kelso City Manager Steve Taylor said although he didn’t have details about the project, the city is pleased to see more investment in local commercial retail opportunities.

“We hope to see continued momentum for increased development throughout the remainder of this year,” Taylor said. “With the Regal Cinemas project, the additional buildings being developed behind Starbucks and the improvements to existing commercial properties around exit 39, Kelso is in a prime position to attract new retail activity that provides valuable services for residents throughout our region.”

Regal Entertainment Group is planning to demolish the mall’s empty Sears building and erect a two-story, 12-screen complex in its place.