Oklahoma City officials in 2008 inked a deal with Horizon Group Properties to develop a 340,000-square-foot regional outlet mall, but the economic recession temporarily stalled the plans.
Now, nearly four years since the initial agreement, the city’s investment in the mall is beginning to pay off through sales tax collections.
According to the city, sales at the outlet mall exceeded $66.4 million through December, about 50 percent above the targeted $43.7 million.
The mall is expected to generate $105 million in sales during its first year.
City Manager Jim Couch, in a monthly report dated March 6, said Oklahoma City retailers experienced a strong Christmas season, and the outlet mall played a significant part.
“Since opening, the outlet mall continues to bring in additional shoppers and their sales tax dollars from outside of Oklahoma City,” the report reads.
“Apparel’s year-to-date growth rate of 16 percent is abnormally large, suggesting inflow of sales from outside the city versus shifting of sales between apparel retailers within.”
Retail sales tax collections grew nearly 13 percent from February 2011 to February 2012, representing more than 60 percent of the total sales tax, the city manager’s report states.
Other retailers are taking notice of the outlet mall’s success.
Rit Mathis, of Mathis Brothers Furniture, said when he heard of the traffic jams going on four miles west of his family’s furniture at the outlet mall, it inspired the company to purchase an adjacent pad site.
The furniture company is developing the property into a 10,000-square-foot Sleep Studio.
And the mall itself is planning an expansion with Phase 2, a 27,000-square-foot addition that will house five or six stores, says Gary Skoien, chief executive of Horizon Group Properties, which owns the mall.
Some spots are leased, but their names haven’t been revealed.
“They will be nice additions to the market,” he promised.