Outlets of Des Moines Fills a Retail Void in the Metro Area

by Kristin Harlow

Outlets of Des Moines brings some of the best brand names in retail to the Des Moines metropolitan area, one of the strongest economies in the country. Retailers include such favorites as American Eagle, Asics, Bath & Body Works, Brooks Brothers, Converse, Express Factory Outlet, francesca’s, Le Creuset, Levi’s, LOFT Outlet, Lucky Brand Jeans, Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store, Skechers, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Bradley and Under Armour.

Michael Barelli, New England Development

Since Outlets of Des Moines opened in October 2017, hundreds of thousands of local and regional residents have visited the Des Moines region’s newest shopping destination.

Located at an established area for entertainment and shopping, the site is easily accessible to the residential trade area of nearly 1 million. With no major outlet center located within 80 miles, the 300,000-square-foot property fills a void in this populous market.

New England Development’s newest shopping destination, Outlets of Des Moines has an unparalleled location in this major metropolitan market. Some features include:

• Six miles from downtown Des Moines, the capital of Iowa and the most populous city in the state
• At the intersection of I-80 and US-65 in Altoona, an established destination for entertainment and shopping
• Located at the same exit as Prairie Meadows and Adventureland Amusement Park (combined 3.6 million annual visitors)
• Adjacent to the 145,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World (the only Bass Pro Shops in Central Iowa) and the 108-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
• 14 miles from Des Moines International Airport

Measuring growth
The Des Moines area benefits from a low cost of living, a high average household income of $67,223 and a low unemployment rate of 2.9 percent. It is also the fastest growing city in the Midwest, according to a 2017 census report.

Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, commented on this data saying, “Over the past decade, Greater Des Moines has outperformed Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee, not only in population growth, but in job growth and gross domestic product.”

In addition, Iowa has one of the highest real per capita disposable incomes in the country, making it a great place for retail. In 2017, Des Moines was ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report as the “Best Affordable Place to Live in the U.S.” and No. 3 by Business Insider as the “Best Place to Live with a Low Cost of Living.”

The inclusion of Des Moines in Forbes’ Top 10 listing of “Where Jobs Will Be In 2018” comes as no surprise to the many companies in the financial services, bioscience, data center and cargo industries that have long recognized the strong business climate of Des Moines, with its low costs and educated labor force.

In addition to Outlets of Des Moines, New England Development’s portfolio of retail projects includes a mix of outlet centers such as Asheville Outlets in Asheville, North Carolina; Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, Florida; Outlets of Little Rock in Little Rock, Arkansas; and Clarksburg Premium Outlets in Clarksburg, Maryland, a partnership with Simon and Streetscape Partners.

— By Michael Barelli, Vice President, New England Development. This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Heartland Real Estate Business magazine.

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