Prime Retail to Debut $300M Expansion of Orlando Shopping Center

The former Prime Outlets Orlando will emerge from its $300 million makeover as the 778,000-square-foot Prime Outlets International Orlando next week. Owner Prime Retail upgraded and expanded the property, which now holds the distinction of being the largest outlet center in the southern region and the biggest in the nation.Prime Outlets International Orlando sits in a coveted and well-traveled spot surrounded by the major tourist attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Prime Retail came into possession of the property in 2006 when it acquired the 700,000-square-foot Belz Factory Outlet World and the 200,000-square-foot Belz Designer Outlet Centre for $180 million from Estein & Associates USA Ltd. The new and improved premier shopping destination will offer 175 outlets, including the sole Neiman Marcus Last Call store in Central Florida.The retail market in Central Florida is booming, according to a first quarter report by real estate services firm Colliers Arnold, and Orlando’s tourist corridor accounts for a big part of its success. The vacancy rate in the submarket is a low 4.1 percent, compared to an average 6.3 percent for Central Florida. Shopping center expansions and upgrades appear to be the trend. The 450,000-square-foot Pointe Orlando was recently upgraded and re-merchandised, and has now evolved into a top dining and entertainment locale. And the former Mercado retail complex is being redeveloped into a 340,000-square-foot mixed-use property, The Square, at a cost of $400 million. Based in Baltimore, Prime Retail is the parent company of Prime Outlets. The company is one of the largest retail property owners in the country with a portfolio of more than 8 million square feet of space across the United States and in Puerto Rico. Prime Retail’s portfolio is on track to go grow significantly over the next few years, with the addition of 2 million square feet planned.