Academy Sports and Outdoors

An Academy Sports and Outdoors store.

The rumors are true.

Academy Sports + Outdoors has formally submitted plans to build a nearly 63,000-square-foot store at 1807 Cherokee Avenue Southwest, behind Aldi grocery store on Cherokee Avenue — a main thoroughfare that seems to have sprouted commercial developments overnight.

The Times previously reported the national sporting goods and apparel chain could be destined to open up shop in Cullman last month after a store director job was advertised locally. City officials remained mum on the possible development, citing a confidentiality agreement.

On March 6, the Cullman Planning Commission will meet to review a proposed site plan submitted for the Katy, Texas-based retailer. The plans were prepared by South Carolina engineering firm CSS, Inc. on behalf of PB2 Architecture of Rogers, Arkansas, according to city building department records.

PB2 Architecture is notable for designing one of the world's smallest Walmart stores— a 3,500-square-foot store that's about 2 percent of the size of an average Walmart Supercenter — at the University of Arkansas.

Academy Sports + Outdoors has 225 stores in the Midwest and the South, with more than 25,000 employees and $4.6 billion in sales, according to its website. When it opens, it will join fellow national retailer Dick's Sporting Goods which opened in the revamped Cullman Shopping Center on the north end of town in late 2015

It's not uncommon for both Academy and Dick's to be located in the same market area. Currently, the closest Academy location is in Decatur.

Tiffeny Owens can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.

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