Golden shovels in hand, city and mall officials began turning dirt on an expansion of The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City — less than a year after the mall opened.
Construction will begin immediately on phase two, a 28,000-square-foot addition to the mall's southwest end. It will house seven new retailers, including Ann Taylor Loft, Lucky Brand, Columbia, Waterford Crystal and Kenneth Cole. The stores are expected to open in November, in time for holiday shopping.
During Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said the project has exceeded his expectations — both in revenue and quality of the tenants. Noting the suit he was wearing was purchased during a recent shopping trip to the outlet mall, Cornett said he hopes people continue to fuel the success of the shopping center, which is at Interstate 40 and Council Road.
“I hope phase two leads to a phase three someday,” he said.
Mall officials, including Horizon Group Properties spokeswoman Gina Slechta, remarked how unusual it is for a project to embark on an expansion so quickly. Sales tax recipes show The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City has been very successful; the mall is expected to generate $105 million in sales during its first year.
For most of the new retailers announced Tuesday, the outlet mall will be their first retail store in Oklahoma. Columbia will anchor phase two closest to the interstate, and Ann Taylor Loft will be on the opposite end. Horizon Group is expected to announce two additional retailers to fill the remaining spots.
“I think that's a sign that retailers are continuing to use the mall as a way to explore our market,” said Cynthia Reid, community redevelopment director for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
White House Black Market, American Eagle Outfitters and Naartjie Kids opened this spring, replacing temporary tenants in the first phase of the 348,000-square-foot shopping center. Horizon Group officials say there is the potential to expand by an additional 31,700 square feet in the future.