Make us your home page

Simon Property Group sets eye on expanding outlet malls

Prime Outlets Ellenton is changing hands. Simon Property Group is buying it, and plans to build an outlet mall in Pasco.

Joseph Garnett Jr. | Times (1998)

Prime Outlets Ellenton is changing hands. Simon Property Group is buying it, and plans to build an outlet mall in Pasco.

After Simon Property Group gave up trying to buy its biggest mall-owning rival, attention shifted to its $2.3 billion purchase of Prime Retail Outlets.

The owner of Tyrone and Gulf View Square malls, Simon will land the teeming Prime Outlets Ellenton and Orlando in a deal sealing control of 77 of the nation's 217 outlet mall properties.

Antitrust regulators are still combing the deal struck seven months ago, but likely not with the same zeal as when Simon had a second offer out to grab General Growth Properties Inc., too. That $11 billion deal would have added 158 more top-tier malls to Simon's 380-mall trophy case, or a third of all the regional malls in the United States.

But it wasn't a lack of cash or regulators that put the kibosh on Simon. It became evident General Growth didn't want Simon once the management and creditors took a lower offer, said David Simon, chief executive.

Locally the Manatee County outlet would bookend Tampa Bay with Tampa Premium Outlets, a counterpart Simon has planned for years at State Road 52 and Interstate 75 in Pasco County.

The Pasco mall was supposed to open in 2008, but was put off until 2011 by the economic collapse.

The inactivity energized the rumor mill about sites closer to town. One had Sierra Properties wooing Simon's Pasco project south as part the sprawling Cypress Creek development at SR 56. Meanwhile, a Washington, D.C., developer appeared with plans for a mall-size hotel-retail development at the Florida State Fairgrounds. That harks back to a mid 1990s attempt to put an outlet mall there to feed off the tourists drawn to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.

It's too late for Simon to open in 2011. The players will not comment on rumors or when the market might recover enough for another outlet mall.

"We are still very committed to Tampa-St. Pete and think it would be an outstanding market for our Premium Outlets concept," said Michelle Rothstein, a Simon spokeswoman. "We hope to have an announcement in the near future."

Shailendra Group, the Atlanta developer that wants to fit the Premium Outlets mall into part of 950 acres it acquired in 2002, heard the rumors.

"I cannot comment," said Ron Weaver, Shailendra's Tampa attorney. "But we do have the best site."

Two retailers chose different ways to find a new fashion face for their brands.

Talbots signed 45-year-old model-mom Linda Evangelista as the face for a fall ad campaign.

Stein Mart Inc., the Jacksonville off-price chain, is staging a contest among customers, offering $500 gift cards to those chosen as models. Stein Mart urged hopefuls to post 30- to 45-second videos on the chain's Facebook page by Friday. Winners will be invited to auditions followed by a fashion shoot in Orlando.

The Limited is no longer part of Limited Brands, the retail conglomerate that Les Wexner, the son a Columbus, Ohio, haberdasher, parlayed into one of the great retail fortunes of the late 20th century. Since 1963 Wexner made the Limited a wellspring that begot Victoria's Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, White Barn Candles and Henri Bendel.

Along the way Limited spawned and spun off other influential nameplates: Limited Too (now Justice), Express, Lerner New York, Cacique, Structure and a revival of once-moribund Abercrombie & Fitch.

Limited Brands unloaded its last 25 percent stake for $32 million to Sun Capital Partners, a Boca Raton investor group that took the rest for $50 million in 2007.

After turning an operating profit last year, the first since 1993, Limited had shrunk to 220 stores. Three are in bay area malls.

No word if Limited Brands will change its name.

Reach Mark Albright at [email protected] or (727) 893-8252.

Simon Property Group sets eye on expanding outlet malls 06/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 1:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17


    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  2. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion


    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]
  3. City Council approves $5 million for Clearwater Marine Aquarium expansion


    CLEARWATER — The City Council on Thursday approved contributing $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for its massive expansion project.

    Clearwater has agreed to contributed $5 million to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium 
's $66 million expansion project.. [ Clearwater Marine Aquarium] 

  4. Trigaux: Florida, Tampa Bay lagging in growth of their startups

    Economic Development

    The annual assessment of how entrepreneurs are doing across the country is out from the Kauffman Foundation — among the best watchers of the nation's startup scene. How do Florida and Tampa Bay fare?

    Lured by financial incentives, startup GeniusCentral relocated from Manatee County in 2015 to St. Petersburg, promising to creatye 40 new jobs. It took downtown space in an appropriately creative workpace for entrepreneurs. It did not last there, later moving back to less expensive space in Manatee. A new Kauffman Index report on entrepreneurship found that Florida is a good place to launch startups but a tougher place to grow them.
  5. Pleasant dreams: sleep travel site gives high marks to Tampa airport


    TAMPA — Traveling might be considered closer to a nightmare than a dream for many. But that might be different for those who travel through Tampa International Airport. It was ranked the No. 3 overall best airport in North America by Sleeping in Airports, a travel site that tracks the best airports to catch some …

    Tampa International Airport was ranked as the No. 3 best overall airport by travel site Sleeping in Airports. | [Times file photo]