Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Outlets at Traverse Mountain set for November Opening

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) The red carpet was rolled out amidst the construction site as The Outlets at Traverse Mountain announced an expansion and new retailers, Thursday, June 28, 2012.
Calvin Klein, Izod, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren and dozens of other retailers and restaurants are set to open in November in a new 225,000-square-foot outlet shopping center under construction in Lehi.

Outlets at Traverse Mountain is being built on 50 acres off Interstate 15 at the Alpine/Highland exit. 

The expected 52-store project is a joint venture between Newport Beach, Calif.-based Craig Realty Group and Lehi-based Legacy Retail LLC. The general contractor is Layton Construction of Salt Lake City. 

A number of tenants at Traverse Mountain will be new to Utah, including higher-end purveyors GoLite, a provider of outdoor equipment and apparel; Le Creuset, which provides cookware; and Under Armour, which sells apparel, said Teri Sunderland, Traverse Mountain general manager.

The Lehi outlet mall initially will be about two-thirds the size of Park City’s Tanger Outlets, a shopping center in Summit County that has 320,000 square feet of space.

Like the Park City mall, the new center will have a mix of upscale and mid-range retail tenants. It’s typical of other outlet malls in that its retailers are opening stores focused on value.

"We have a really good, solid lineup of national brand companies," said Steven L. Craig, president and CEO of Craig Realty Group, a firm specializing in upscale outlet centers throughout the U.S., including three in Colorado.

A second phase of construction could add another 150,000 square feet and 35 tenants, for a total of 375,000 square feet at some point, he said.

Craig said that although his property is an outlet center, he thinks it will have more in common with City Creek Center than the Tanger Outlets.

"It’s very City Creek-esque," he said.

The mall will have a glass atrium canopy over walking areas that will provide shelter from weather extremes. The center also has radiant heated outdoor walkways with a snow melt system for the winter months.

Construction began in October on the new center that’s being built with an upscale flair, including a 12,000-square-foot central entrance featuring a 50-foot fireplace as the focal point.

"The location is going to make this project successful," said JR Moore, a retail specialist with commercial brokerage CBRE in Salt Lake City. "It’s a great location. The mall is perfectly positioned to capture both Salt Lake County and Utah County shoppers."

The new outlet mall will be adjacent to the 150,000-square-foot Cabela’s store. A large amount of retail development had been planned for the area pre-recession, but only the Cabela’s was built before the economy soured. Craig Realty has owned the property since 2007, just before the downturn took hold. The conditions weren’t right until the summer of 2011 to move ahead with the project.
Craig Realty began construction when the outlet mall had signed leases from about half of its expected 52 tenants.

Although the Wasatch Front has numerous regional malls, including the newly opened City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City, the nearest outlet malls are in Park City and St. George, Moore said, which makes a project of this type overdue.

"Two of the most populated counties in the state of Utah are not serviced by an outlet mall," he said. 

"This will be the closest outlet mall serving both Utah County and Salt Lake County."

The addition of the new center probably will have some impact on the Tanger Outlets, but given the distance between the two and the fact that Park City also is a tourist destination, it won’t be crippling, said Stuart Thain, a retail specialist with Coldwell Banker Commercial brokerage.

Post-recession, shoppers have been drawn to outlet stores because of the perception that they are getting a deal, Thain said.

"Outlet malls are doing well around the country," he said. "And I have no doubt this new mall will do well here. Value —that’s what Utah is all about."

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