Sunday, June 27, 2010

Prime Outlets Grand Prairie shopping center is on slow track

Prime Outlets' proposed shopping center in Grand Prairie first had to wait out a recession. Now, it's caught up in a pending merger.

While the project has no opening date, it's still alive, according to developers and city officials.

Prime owns land in Grand Prairie where it expected by now to have a 450,000-square-foot outlet center open with commitments from Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Off 5th.

Fall 2009 was the first target date for the center planned for the north side of Interstate 20, between State Highway 360 and Great Southwest Parkway.

It was pushed back to May 2011, and now it's in limbo again. "Maybe fall 2011," said Bob O'Neal, Grand Prairie's economic development director. "It's a one-year construction schedule. All the engineering is ready to go. We did the intersection improvements they needed."

Prime must meet requirements of a Federal Trade Commission inquiry of its pending merger. Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. shopping mall owner, reached an agreement in December to buy Baltimore-based Prime Outlets from Lightstone Group for $2.33 billion, including debt.

Indianapolis-based Simon is cooperating with the FTC, which is putting the merger through antitrust scrutiny.
Simon had also bid on its largest competitor, Chicago-based General Growth Properties. Earlier this month, Simon chairman and CEO David Simon said the company had "moved on" and had no plans to make another bid for General Growth, which is reorganizing in bankruptcy.

Simon gains 22 retail outlet centers nationally if it completes the merger with Prime.

In recent years, Simon has acquired two other major mall operators, Mills and Chelsea. Simon also is the largest operator of traditional regional malls, including Firewheel Town Center in Garland, Irving Mall and the Galleria in Houston.

In Texas, Simon owns one of two major centers in San Marcos; four Premium Outlets, including one in Allen, and Mills malls in Grapevine and Katy. Once the deal is completed, Simon will have 63 outlet centers nationally.

Another proposed outlet center similar to Grand Prairie also has been delayed. Prime has plans to build in Livermore Valley, east of San Francisco.

Simon spokesman Les Morris said he couldn't comment on Prime projects since the merger was still pending.

Prime is actively leasing both projects, looking for additional retail and restaurant prospects, said a spokeswoman for Prime.

In May, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. canceled plans for a similar shopping center in Irving.

"We're still positive and anxious," Grand Prairie's O'Neal said.

"Prime has a healthy list of tenants." A year ago, Prime had lease commitments for 50 percent of the space from Michael Kors , Dooney and Bourke, Hugo Boss, Brooks Brothers , Tommy Hilfiger and others. In March, it said Cole Haan and Esprit were among additional retailers signing leases this year.

SOURCE: MARIA HALKIAS / The Dallas Morning News

1 comment:

  1. It looks like this is Grand Prairie Texas. There is also a Grande Prairie Alberta. FYI.