REAL ESTATE

Noteworthy month for Simon’s Premium Outlets division

BY Melonie Messina

Indianapolis — Simon announced the opening of an additional 250,000 sq. ft. of outdoor shopping space, significantly increasing the footprint of Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, Illinois. New stores including Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Columbia Sportswear, UGG Australia, Vince, and the first Midwest outlet stores for Robert Graham and Clarins have joined existing brands such as Coach, Cole Haan, Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store, Skechers, Under Armour, and Vera Bradley who have expanded their presence.

The new section of the center includes fire places, art installations and a feature pond, along with the addition of 2,200 parking spaces and new amenities. Concurrently with the expansion, the first phase is undergoing a complete renovation including an updated food court, new pedestrian walkways, landscaping, lighting, seating, and signage.

The expansion comes just two weeks after the opening of another expansion at San Francisco Premium Outlets and the grand opening of Gloucester Premium Outlets, the 69th Premium Outlets center in the U.S. Two more Premium Outlet centers – Tucson Premium Outlets and Tampa Premium Outlets – are opening October of this year.

Simon also announced this month plans to build Hartford Premium Outlets, located in Hartford, Connecticut. An application for rezoning with the Town of Windsor Locks (CT) Planning and Zoning Commission has been submitted to begin the approval process.

Phase One will consist of 350,000 sq. ft. of retail space, a Market Hall complete with a variety of dining options, and two notable restaurants on the property's perimeter.

The architectural style of the center will be inspired by Classic Colonial and Connecticut rural architecture, so that the village-like setting will be reminiscent of a Windsor Locks community. Visitors will find numerous pedestrian promenades which will include fountains, art, a children's play area, and an outdoor fireplace.

The project is anticipated to begin construction in fall 2016 with a grand opening to occur 13 months after construction start.

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