by admin

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — The popularity of outlet malls shows no signs of abating. Retail real estate giant Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) broke ground Thursday on Gloucester Premium Outlets in Gloucester Township. Slated to open in the summer of 2015, the multi-million dollar project will offer a diverse mix of more than 80 retailers “delivering great brands at extraordinary savings,” according to the company.

Leaders from Simon and several political dignitaries commemorated the project with an official groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday morning for the 375,000-square-foot property. The dignitaries included Gloucester Township Mayor David Mayer and New Jersey State Senators Donald Norcross and Fred Madden.

Gloucester Premium Outlets is a joint venture between Simon and PREIT-Rubin Inc., and will be developed and managed by Simon. The outlets will be located at the intersection of Robert Kelly Drive and Cooper Road in Blackwood, an unincorporated community within Gloucester Township. When completed, the outlet center will complement the other Simon Premium Outlets located in Limerick, Pa., sharing the greater Philadelphia market.

The outlet center will feature designer and name brands at savings of 25 percent to 65 percent. With the center's proximity to both the Atlantic City Expressway and the Black Horse Pike, Gloucester Premium Outlets will be a draw to the local area as well as a tourist attraction, bringing in shoppers from Pennsylvania, North and Central New Jersey, and beyond, according to Simon officials.

Gloucester Premium Outlets will offer a mix of product categories including apparel and shoes, fashion accessories, leather goods, home furnishings and specialty items. Additional amenities include a Food Pavilion with multiple dining options, an outdoor lounge area, landscaping and significant green space to host community events such as musical performances, charity events and children's activities.

“We are excited to officially begin development on Gloucester Premium Outlets and would like to thank Gloucester Township and its residents for their tremendous support of this project,” says Mark Silvestri, chief operating officer for Simon Premium Outlets.

“We expect that Gloucester Premium Outlets will be a catalyst for economic growth and vitality for Gloucester Township and the surrounding area, with the creation of 300 to 500 construction jobs and more than 800 full-time and part-time retail jobs upon opening,” adds Silvestri.

The groundbreaking comes on the heels of the opening of Charlotte Premium Outlets in Charlotte, N.C., on July 31. That center will serve the greater Charlotte area and is fully leased with 400,000 square feet and 100 outlet stores featuring high-quality designer and name brands. Simon owns a 50 percent interest in Charlotte Premium Outlets.

In July, Simon broke ground on a 50-store expansion of Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, Ill. The multi-million dollar project will expand the outlet center by almost two-thirds for a future total of 170 stores.

The Simon Premium Outlets portfolio includes 82 retail centers in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and South Korea. As of June 30, 2014, Simon Property Group owned or had an interest in 228 properties comprising 189 million square feet in North America, Asia and Europe.

Simon’s stock price closed at $165.27 per share on Thursday, Aug. 7, up from $156.86 per share a year ago.

— Matt Valley

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