Sunday, September 29, 2013

Orlando Premium Outlets adds The Promenade

By Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel 7:03 p.m. EDT, September 25, 2013

Five years ago, it was home to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, a dinner theater featuring horses, buffalo, ostrich races and a cast of Civil War soldiers and Southern belles.

Starting next week, it will be the site of a different kind of stampede: tourists and locals looking to score designer goods at low-price retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and the region's only Tommy Bahama outlet.

The Promenade at Orlando Premium Outlets — Vineland Ave. will open Oct. 3 along Interstate 4 near the Disney theme parks. The new addition to the already sprawling outlet center also will include Orlando's first Dick's Last Resort restaurant, which opens in December.

With a dozen stores taking up 110,000 square feet, the Promenade expands the center by 20 percent to 160 shops.

"Adding to what we have at Orlando Premium Outlets makes sense,'' said Lorena Garcia, a spokeswoman for the center in southwest Orange County. "It's a great new expansion."

Orlando Premium already is often jammed with shoppers who buy designer goods at discounts of anywhere from 25 percent to 65 percent. It attracts many foreign tourists, who have been known to buy luggage only to stuff the bags full of clothes that cost much less than at home.

The center brings in sales of more than $1,300 a square foot, almost three times the average for a traditional shopping mall.

"That project has done fabulous," said David Marks, principal of retail development with Michael Collard Properties in Winter Park. Outlet shopping, he said, is "one of the strongest retail segments we have in Central Florida."

Growth in international tourism, particularly from Brazil, has helped business boom.

But it's not just about tourists. Outlet shopping is hot across the country, fueled by Americans' love of a good deal. Sales were $25.4 billion last year, according to trade publication Value Retail News, a 13.4 percent increase from 2011.

Simon Property Group, the nation's largest outlet-center company, owns the Vineland Avenue center and another, larger Orlando Premium Outlets on North International Drive. The Vineland Avenue center underwent its most recent expansion in 2008, adding 40 stores.

Simon Property Group wouldn't disclose the cost of building The Promenade. Records show Simon purchased the old Dixie Stampede property for $16 million last year. The Dolly Parton show closed in 2008. The building was briefly used as a flea market and torn down last year.

The Promenade is anchored by fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

Dick's Last Resort, the outlet center's first sit-down restaurant, will open at The Promenade in December. The chain is known for servers who entertain diners by playfully insulting and throwing napkins at them.

Other new stores in the center will include The North Face, which sells sports apparel; Ugg Australia, a boot store; Gap Kids & Baby; and Teva, a sports-sandal chain.

It contains the region's only outlet Tommy Bahama store, though the island-themed retailer has full-priced shops in Pointe Orlando and Mall at Millenia.

Volcom, a sports-accessory and clothing company aimed at younger customers, will open its first Orlando store in The Promenade on Nov. 15.

HanesBrands and Famous Footwear will move into The Promenade from an older part of the outlet center, making room for Diane Von Furstenberg and Under Armour in the next few weeks.

Go! Calendars & Games will open temporarily in the center. A permanent lease is expected to be signed soon for the space.

The buildings are in the same Mediterranean style as the rest of the open-air center. The Promenade will have about 400 new parking spaces and its own bus stop. Crosswalks will link it to the rest of the center across Vineland Avenue.


Orlando mall to raze Dixie Stampede for more stores

1 comment:

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