Pasco outlet mall gets Saks store
WESLEY CHAPEL - Outlet mall developer Simon Property Group has announced plans to anchor its new project at Cypress Creek Town Center with luxury discount retailer Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH. Company officials said the store, which is scheduled in open in 2014, would offer customers "an exceptional array of both coveted designer names and unique merchandise under the Saks Fifth Avenue label." The shopping center, located at the Interstate 75 — State Road 56 interchange, was originally slated to open in 2010 but construction was halted on the project in 2009 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers yanked its permit. The Sierra Club of Tampa Bay sued, alleging that the project violated the federal Clean Water and the Endangered Species acts. That case is still making its way through the appeal courts, but the developers settled another lawsuit in February with the estate for former construction magnate Bing Kearny, whose company went bankrupt after the mall project ground to a halt.Simon, based in Indianapolis, is the world's largest real estate company. The company has publicized plans to purchase a portion of the Cypress Creek parcel owned by another mall developer, the Richard E. Jacobs Group. Officials with the Jacobs Group say they still plan to build a mall at the 510-acre site when the Corps reissues its building permit. OFF 5TH is the first anchor tenant announced for the Wesley Chapel site since the Simon deal went public in late January. John R. Klein, president of Simon's Premium Outlets division, said the retailer "exemplifies the type of high quality shopping experience we seek for our discerning outlet customers, who visit our centers from around the world." Debie Kaplan, president of the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce, called the announcement "fantastic news." "Not only is it a great store, but it also means jobs for the area," Kaplan said. "You know it will bring in a lot of shoppers from all over the region – and a lot of tax revenue." OFF 5TH offers clothing and accessories for men, women, children, and products for the home at 40 percent to 70 percent below the original prices. The stores carry designer labels and exclusive Saks Fifth Avenue lines. There are 34 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH locations within the Simon portfolio, including one at Ellenton Premium Outlets in Manatee County. The Pasco store is one of four new stores to be located at Simon properties in the next three years. In addition, the OFF 5TH store at Orlando Premium Outlets will be expanded in 2013.
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