Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 27, 2013

Town of Niagara IDA agrees to tax deal for $71M add-on to the Fashion Outlets

Niagara Gazette — TOWN OF NIAGARA — The proposed $71 million expansion at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls moved one step closer to becoming a reality on Wednesday.

During a meeting at town hall, the board of directors for the town's industrial development agency voted unanimously to accept an application for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal that the mall's owner says is needed to allow the expansion to proceed. 

Doug Morrow, vice president of development for mall owner, Macerich Partnership, LP, told board members the proposed expansion would result in the addition of 230,000 square feet of gross building area on site, including roughly 175,000 square feet of new retail space as well as additional parking. 

"After we do that, we will be probably one of the top 20 largest outlet centers in the country," Morrow said. 

The retail addition would be built as an attachment to the existing outlet center's main building and would incorporate part of the adjacent Sabre Park mobile home property, which was acquired by Macerich affiliate, Fashion Outlets II, last year. The new retail area would allow for the addition of about 50 stores, adding to the 150 currently operating at the center. 

Morrow said his firm has either signed leases or is in negotiation with companies to do so on close to 89 percent of the proposed expansion space. While he said he could not divulge the names of any potential leaseholders, he said they would be higher-end retail companies in keeping with the type of stores currently found on site. 

"We think we're solidifying this property for many, many years to come," Morrow said. 

Macerich views the expansion as a way to continue meeting the needs of the outlet mall's customers, especially Canadian shoppers whom Morrow said currently account for 82 percent of all sales.  

He said the company is also looking to keep pace with competitors, noting that there are plans for several new or expanded outlet malls in southern Ontario, including one recent proposal for the development of a new center in Halton Hills, west of Toronto. 

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