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International Game Fish Association Sells Dania Beach HQ to Bass Pro Shops

Billionaire Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris donated the land for the HQ when it was built

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Sports goods retailer Bass Pro Shops has purchased the headquarters of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), located next door to its Outdoor World store in Dania Beach, Fla., for $12.5 million, according to property records.

The two entities have long been intertwined as Johnny Morris, the billionaire founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, is a trustee and longtime donor to IGFA, as well a 2005 inductee to the organization’s hall of fame.

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The nonprofit, which considers itself the “world’s governing body for sports fishing,” has owned the 60,000-square-foot building at 300 Gulfstream Way since it was built in 1999. The three-story property also housed the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum, though the museum relocated in 2015 to Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Mo.

Morris was a major contributor to the development of the IGFA headquarters, donating the 12.7-acre site on which it was built, the Sun Sentinel reported in the 90s. 

Johnny Morris donated the land because he was a fishing enthusiast and thought it was synergistic with Outdoor World,” Scott O’Donnell, who co-leads the Cushman & Wakefield capital markets team in South Florida, and once marketed the property, told Commercial Observer.

Now, the property is back in Morris’s hands. 

IGFA first put its headquarters on the market in 2018, hoping to get $300 per square foot, or just short of $18 million, for the property, O’Donnell confirmed. At the time, the organization said it planned to remain in South Florida and was on the lookout for new executive offices.

However, Morris had a purchase option on the property close to the sale price, which he appears to have triggered. It was not immediately clear how the buyer planned to use the three-story property, or whether the acquisition was related to Morris’s charitable activities or Bass Pro’s retail operations. Bass Pro declined to comment. IGFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Bass Pro Shops has occupied the one-story retail building next door at 200 Gulfstream Way since 1998, shortly before its neighbor arrived. Both buildings are part of the Sportsman’s Park development, across the Interstate 95 Expressway from the Design Center of the Americas.

The Springfield-based retailer, which owns both the Bass Pro and Cabela’s brands, operates close to 200 stores across the country, and is involved in conservation efforts that support hunting and fishing. 

Chava Gourarie can be reached at cgourarie@commercialobserver.com.