330,000SF Outlet Mall Planned for Phoenix Area

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. has just revealed that it will develop an upscale outlet shopping center in suburban Phoenix. The 330,000-square-foot project will mark the company’s entrée into Arizona. The new Tanger Outlet Center will occupy a 30-acre parcel that Tanger recently committed to acquiring with the signing of a purchase and sale agreement with HWWCC Development L.L.C. Located at the intersection of 101 Loop and Camelback Rd. in Glendale, the site is near leading sports venues the University of Phoenix Stadium and Jobing.com Arena. Ultimately, the retail destination will offer 80 stores in an open-air environment. Tanger is on target to break ground on the project next year with plans to wrap up construction in 2010. Tanger, which has a portfolio of properties that stretches from California to New Hampshire, has made strides in expanding its presence this year. In March, the company announced it would build a 380,000-square-foot outlet center in Irving, Texas, marking its third property in the state. And next month, the 308,000-square-foot Tanger Outlet Center of Pittsburgh will make its debut in South Strabane Township, approximately 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh, bringing the second Tanger outlet to Pennsylvania.Tanger has not revealed how much it shells out to develop the shopping centers, however, the company does not hold on to mortgages very long. The firm’s portfolio of wholly-owned properties became totally unencumbered at the end of June following the company’s closing on a $235 million unsecured three-year term loan facility that allowed it to repay its only remaining mortgage loan. Outlet mall developers appear to be undaunted in light of the economic downturn that has put a damper on the retail market. In June, Simon Property Group commenced construction on the upscale, 400,000-square-foot Cincinnati Premium Outlets, and Prime Retail announced plans in May to develop a 450,000-square-foot Prime Outlets shopping center in suburban Atlanta at a cost of $120 million. Additionally, Prime Retail will kick off construction of a 475,000-square-foot outlet center in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie this fall. “We’re in a cycle where there are not a lot of new concepts in regional malls, but in outlet centers, you have companies that have stores specifically for this sector, and they’ve been wildly successful,” James Bieri, president & CEO of retail real estate consulting firm GVA Bieri, told CPN today. The list of retailers with both full- and off-price stores is a lengthy and expanding one, and ranges from fashion apparel to home furnishings to food. Neiman Marcus has the Neiman Marcus Last Call chain and Saks Fifth Avenue has its Off 5th stores. L.L. Bean is a longtime player in the outlet game, having opened its very first factory outlet store in 1988 at the Tanger Outlet Center in North Conway, N.H., an area infamous for outlets. “There are more tenants going into outlet centers than before,” Bieri said. “At the moment it’s a very active sector.” Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., Tanger has ownership interests in or management responsibilities for 31 shopping centers totaling 9.1 million square feet in 22 states. Company stock opened today at $35.81.