Outlet mall lovers will soon have a new destination to flock to if the Simon Property Group’s plan to develop in Wesley Chapel comes to pass.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Simon, the owner of Manatee County’s Ellenton Premium Outlets, has been signing up stores for the Wesley Chapel mall’s 2014 opening. Saks Off Fifth is reportedly onboard as the anchor.
Do you think central Pasco and northern Hillsborough need their own outlet mall? Let us know in the comments section.
Simon’s interest in the embattled Cypress Creek Town Center site came to light in February.
The 140-acre site, which is owned by the Richard E. Jacobs Group, had stood at the center of an environmental controversy since its owners received permitting to build the Cypress Creek Town Center in 2007. Those permits were challenged by the Sierra Club in 2008 and development work on the site has been at a virtual standstill ever since. The developers won the legal challenge late last year, according to the Times.
When news broke that the , Patch readers had mixed opinions.
“Although having a big mall at that interstate interchange will likely cause huge traffic snarls, an outlet mall is the best idea I've heard so far,” wrote Betty Phelps. “Wiregrass Mall is just a few miles away, so you need something different in order to compete with that. An outlet mall at that location could draw customers from the entire north Tampa Bay region.”
While some agreed, not all Patch readers were happy with the development.
“This is the worst idea I've heard all year,” wrote Megan Hendricks. “One of the main reasons I enjoy living out here is relatively little traffic. Why do we need to draw more people to the area who don't live here? Sometimes less is better.”
What do you think about the proposal? Let your voice be heard in the comments section.