BROOKSVILLE — Add Dick’s Sporting Goods to the list of tenants committed to the new Cortez Commons shopping center at State Road 50 and Mariner Boulevard.
Founded in 1948, Dick’s Sporting Goods is a full-line sporting goods retailer offering a broad assortment of brand name sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear.
Pat Crowley, president of the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, said Dick’s Sporting Goods, as with Bonefish Grill and Hobby Lobby, have their devoted supporters who will flock here from the surrounding area to shop at Cortez Commons.
“You’ll definitely get people coming from other counties to shop here and that’s great for us,” Crowley said.
And once here, she said those same people will patronize the area restaurants, theaters and other attractions and tenants
“The surrounding businesses are going to prosper from this,” Crowley said.
County Commissioner Dave Russell said the arrival of Dick’s in Hernando County indicates the area is expected to grow. These companies do not locate somewhere without first doing the proper marketing and demographic checks, he said.
And with Dick’s, it means there is enough of a youth market that will patronize the store, he said.
Russell anticipates more stores to debut at Cortez Commons and in the area.
Dick’s, he said, “is a harbinger of things to come.”
As of November 2013, there were 558 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores in 46 states.
Other tenants committed to the Cortez Commons include Bonefish Grill, Hobby Lobby, Mattress Firm and Vitamin Shoppe.
Chili’s Grill & Bar has also expressed interest in locating at Cortez Commons but has not yet submitted plans. A Chili’s media representative said Wednesday there was a new Brooksville site in the works but did not have details.
This would be the second Chili’s in Hernando County, the other being at 3085 U.S. 19 in Spring Hill.
Pittsburgh-based Dick’s Sporting Goods will bring competition to Sports Authority, located at 1417 Wendy Ct. in Spring Hill’s Nature Coast Commons.
There are five other Dick’s Sorting Goods in the area, including three in Tampa, one in Clearwater and another in Brandon.
Meanwhile, Chili’s has been sporting a new look at many of its restaurants. Customers are treated to more flat screens located throughout the restaurant and not just by the bar. There is new lighting, new seating new wood tables, a new awning design and a new logo.
The menu has a variety of entrees, including burger combos, fajitas, salads, barbecue and steaks.
As with other Chili’s, this site would also have a full liquor bar.
Chili’s Grill & Bar has 1,268 U.S. locations and does more than $3.5 billion in sales.