In the latest skirmish in the outlet center wars, large mall developers that previously announced competing outlet center projects in Charlotte, NC, have joined forces in Charlotte and will also build a 90-store center in Columbus, OH.
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Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG
), the world's mall developer and owner, and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. (NYSE: SKT
) plan to build a 350,000-square-foot center in Charlotte in a location announced last month by Tanger eight miles southwest of uptown Charlotte at the interchange of I-485 and Steele Creek Road (NC Highway 160). The project could include a 50,000-square-foot expansion.
As reported last month by CoStar on an article on the race to build outlet centers around the country, Simon and Baltimore, MD-based Paragon Outlet Partners unveiled a letter of intent to jointly develop Charlotte Premium Outlets,
a 400,000-square-foot center proposed for Stallings, NC, at Interstate 485 and Idlewild Road.
Two days earlier, Tanger had announced its project at I-485/Steele Creek Road in conjunction with Childress Klein Properties and Steele Creek Limited Partnership.
Rivals-turned-partners Simon and Tanger now plan to open at the Steele Creek Road location in spring 2014.
Actually, Tanger and Simon were partners before they were competitors, at least for the purposes of Tanger Outlets in Texas City, TX, a 50/50 joint venture which opened last month 30 miles south of Houston and 20 miles north of Galveston.
David E. Simon, chairman and CEO of Simon Property, said during the company’s earnings call that he expected only one center would get built in Charlotte. With three very experienced developers between Simon, Tanger and Paragon, "it will be a competition of who gets the retailers, and the experience will ultimately dictate that somebody will get the project and somebody won't."
It’s not known whether Paragon will still proceed with plans to build an outlet center in Stallings, NC.
The new Simon/Tanger joint venture will be branded as Charlotte Premium Outlets. Tanger will provide site development and construction supervision while Simon will provide management services and marketing. Both companies will provide leasing services to the center that will have 90 brand name and designer outlet stores at full lease up.
In Columbus, the two companies plan to build a 350,000-square-foot center branded as Tanger Outlets off I-71, 20 miles north of downtown and 11 miles north of I-270.
Simon will provide site development and construction supervision to the venture while Tanger will provide management services and marketing. Both companies will provide leasing services and expect the 90-store center to have its grand opening in time for the 2014 holiday season.
When completed, the center will be home to more than 90 upscale brand name and designer outlet stores.
"Both of these projects provide the most compelling locations for our merchants and our customers and will best serve the Charlotte and Columbus communities. Our recent joint venture in Texas City, Texas has gotten off to a great start and we look forward to developing two more successful projects together," said John R. Klein, president of Simon's Premium Outlets platform.