Sunday, July 15, 2012

St. Louis Premium Outlets holds groundbreaking ceremony

By Kavita Kumar -

In yet another surreal moment in the outlet mall duel in Chesterfield, one of the projects held a groundbreaking ceremony this morning just a couple miles down the street from where the other development has excavators moving around dirt on its site.

In other words, both projects are still moving full steam ahead.

But the head honchos from Simon Property Group and Woodmont Co. who flew in for the groundbreaking ceremony did not mention the competing project during their official remarks. Instead, they focused on their own development, the St. Louis Premium Outlets located off of Highway 40 just east of the Daniel Boone Bridge. They said the construction will get underway within days and that the center would draw about 3 million customers a year and would do an estimated $130 million in sales.

"It's going to become the must-visit shopping destination in the greater St. Louis market," said Stephen Dworkin, senior vice president of Simon's premium outlets division.
Officials said the project would bring in 800 construction jobs and about 800 retail jobs. The project is slated to open in fall 2013.

John Klein, president of Simon's outlet division, noted that the project already has an committed anchor tenant in Saks Fifth Avenue's Off 5th as well as many other retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers, Elie Tahari, and Nine West.

This morning, he added nine more retailers to the list including Carters, Reebok, Sunglass Hut and Crabtree & Evelyn.

After the ceremony, Stephen Coslik, chief executive officer of Woodmont Co. said he stood by his earlier statements that there would only be one successful outlet center and that which one that would be will be determined by the retailers.

"At the end of the day, there's not anybody at this groundbreaking that is going to make that decision," he said. "It's the retailers. I think the retailers for the most part have spoken about which site and which project they want to be associated with."

The competing project by Taubman Centers is located across from Chesterfield Commons. It has not announced any retailers for its project, but has already started site work and plans a ceremonial groundbreaking in a couple weeks.

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