By John Arundel
Weeks after Maryland voters gave the green light for what could become a $1 billion MGM casino along the banks of the Potomac by 2015, National Harbor Founder Milt Peterson dug another shovel in the ground on a $100 million outlet shopping mall which could throw open its doors to price-conscious outlet shoppers by the end of next year.
The 340,000 square foot Tanger Outlets National Harbor will complement the scores of restaurants, retail and hotels already open, including the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, the largest non-gaming hotel on the eastern seaboard. Developed by Peterson and opened in 2007, National Harbor now comprises 350 acres of prime real estate along the scenic Potomac River in Prince George’s County.
Tanger Outlets will be located at the base of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and directly accessible from the Capital Beltway, I-295 and Indian Head Highway, and Peterson said the new center will serve as a leading outlet destination for the five million residents in surrounding Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
“The Tanger Outlets brand is synonymous with quality and we are thrilled to partner with them to bring these high quality retail brands to the area,” said Peterson, chairman of the Peterson Companies. “This is an exciting new chapter in the evolution of National Harbor and we believe it will be a tremendous complement to our existing shopping, dining, entertainment and hospitality offerings.”
The center is located three miles from Old Town Alexandria and eight miles southeast of Washington, which each year welcomes 33 million annual visitors.
The center’s features will include a modern design with a pedestrian friendly layout that will function as an open-air mall with both covered and uncovered landscaped courtyards and park-like settings throughout the complex.
“We are pleased to begin construction in this dynamic lifestyle destination,” said Steven B. Tanger, president and CEO of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
Shoppers will soon find about 80 brand name and designer outlet stores, including Calvin Klein, H&M, IZOD, Gap Factory Store, American Eagle Outfitters, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic Factory Store, White House Black Market Outlet, Chico’s Outlet, Columbia, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Aéropostale, P.S. by Aéropostale, J. Crew Factory, Le Creuset Outlet and others.
The project stands to create about 600 jobs during construction and 1,000 full and part-time retail jobs once open. It is predicted that the center will create an additional $6.5 million in annual sales tax revenue for the state.
Tanger and Peterson will each own a 50 percent interest in the project and will jointly provide site development and construction supervision services to the venture. Tanger Outlet Centers will provide management services, leasing and marketing to the joint venture.
“Our goal is to create an exceptional outlet experience.” Tanger said. “We’ll have great designer and brand name stores with on trend, in season value priced merchandise.”