Plans are apparently moving forward on an outlet mall development in Wesley Chapel, according to a recent announcement posted on Simon Property Group Inc.’s website.
Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th plans to open a new location at Tampa Premium Outlets in Wesley Chapel, in 2014, according to the posting.
The announcement signals the first retailer to announce plans to locate at the potential upscale outlet center on a portion of the Cypress Creek Town Center site near Interstate 75.
Representatives from Simon would not provide additional information.
News of the potential outlet surfaced in February, after Pasco County administrator John Gallagher met with representatives from Simon and from the Cypress Creek Town Center.
Plans for Cypress Creek Town Center were announced years ago and the mall received a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers in 2007, but then the project became mired in legal battles and the economy tanked.
A federal court ruling on Nov. 17 affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded a previous district ruling in a case involving the Sierra Club and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the permit for the mall.
However, an issue that remains unresolved involves the eastern indigo snake.
Simon’s recent announcement appears to signal progress toward development of an outlet mall, and that prospect already has received a warm reception from major players in Wesley Chapel. Representatives from the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce, The Shops at Wiregrass and the Porter family, who are major landholders, all have said an upscale outlet mall would enhance the area’s offerings.
Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th leverages Saks Fifth Avenue’s knowledge of fashion in the marketplace to create exclusive brands, providing customers with accessible luxuries, trend-right values and stylish exclusives, according to Simon’s announcement.
It features a luxury-in-a-loft design which can showcase an emerging trend one day and a great deal the next, the website says.
There are 34 Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th locations within the Simon portfolio both in its Premium Outlets and The Mills divisions.
Simon’s Premium Outlets portfolio features 70 Premium Outlet Centers including 57 in the United States, one in Puerto Rico, eight in Japan, two in Korea, one in Malaysia and one in Mexico.
Simon Property Group currently owns or has an interest in 337 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 244 million square feet. It is headquartered in Indianapolis and employs approximately 5,500 people in the U.S. For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at www.simon.com.