Outlet Mall Planned for Grand Prairie, Texas

Oct. 13--Plans are under way to bring a high-end outlet mall with tenants such as Kate Spade, Restoration Hardware and Coach to the northeast corner of Interstate 20 and Texas 360 in eastern Tarrant County.

Prime Retail, which has its flagship outlet mall south of Austin in San Marcos, wants to build a 450,000-square-foot shopping center at the site, if the city of Grand Prairie provides some help. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2008, with the mall open for business in the winter of 2009.

The Grand Prairie City Council on Tuesday is expected to give its city staff authority to negotiate a master agreement with the Baltimore-based development firm that could include $14 million to $16 million in tax incentives.

"Grand Prairie has good visibility and demographics, and then there is the tourism market, and that's what's going to make this a better-than-average opportunity," said Bruce Zalaznick, Prime Retail's executive vice president of real estate.

Prime Retail is still in the process of signing tenants for the Grand Prairie location, which would house about 100 stores, Zalaznick said. But he said the retailers would be similar to those at its San Marcos outdoor mall, which has a Nieman Marcus Last Call, Giorgio Armani General Store and an Off 5th -- Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet.

The company operates 20 U.S. outlet malls with a total of more than 10 million square feet of retail space. Outlet malls include manufacturers that selling directly to consumers, typically at discounted prices, and retailers selling off older inventory.

The Prime Outlets-Grand Prairie would be Tarrant County's second outlet mall. Grapevine Mills, which opened in 1997, has 1.6 million square feet of retail, more than 3 1/2 times larger than the proposed Prime Retail mall. Neiman Marcus Last Call and Off 5th -- Saks Fifth Avenue are also at Grapevine Mills.

"This is a great market for the upscale outlet shopper, and we know Prime Retail's new location will be a popular shopping center for our region," Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England said in a statement Friday.

The city expects Prime Outlets to create $3 million in annual sales tax revenue to the city and create 500 new jobs, said Bob O'Neal, economic-development director. The 57-acre property is expected to generate an additional $1.2 million to $1.3 million in property taxes, he said.

However, the city will probably use those new property taxes to improve roads to Sara Jane Parkway and other infrastructure needed for the mall development because the land is situated in a tax-increment finance district.

In the TIF district, which was formed in 1999 and stretches from Texas 360 to Texas 161, property values are frozen and tax revenue generated by higher property values from new development is used to finance public improvements within the district.

O'Neal said the road improvements and water and sewer infrastructure needed for the mall could cost $4 million to $6 million. The developer could be also refunded from the TIF an additional $10 million for parking and creating public space, he said.