03/13/2013 | By Carisa Chappell
In keeping with the trend of building upscale outlet malls, Macerich (NYSE: MAC) is preparing to open a two-story, amenity-filled outlet property in the Chicago suburbs this summer.
The 530,000-square-foot Fashion Outlets of Chicago is one of 16 outlet malls scheduled to open in the United States in 2013, according to a report by Value Retail News. The publication noted that two outlet malls opened in the U.S. in 2011, followed by eight more in 2012.
The site’s retail lineup reflects the growth in luxury brands entering the outlet market. Fashion Outlets of Chicago will be home to high-end outlet stores such as Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Gucci and Prada. In addition to a large food court, the mall will also have fine-dining restaurants. The exterior of the property will include over-sized stadium LED Screens to promote retailers, fashion trends and special events within the mall.
“Fashion Outlets of Chicago marks our commitment to the changing face of outlet retail in America,” said Art Coppola, chairman and CEO of Macerich. “The announcement of the outstanding tenant mix and opening date for Fashion Outlets of Chicago is a significant milestone for our company, demonstrating Macerich’s ongoing commitment to the market, as well as to our outlet strategy.”
Arthur Wiener, chairman of AWE Talisman, which partnered with Macerich on the development added that the mall, which is set to open on Aug. 1, will offer a host of other customer amenities and social experiences, including a “world-class art installation.”
“We don’t believe there is another shopping environment that reaches this caliber of global brands with this level of customer care and market access,” said Wiener.
The owners also hope the mall will benefit from being located just minutes away from O’Hare International Airport, luring both area residents and travelers inside its doors.
Coppola noted that the mall will offer shuttles to and from the airport. The mall will also have round trip shuttle service to Chicago’s downtown hotels. The Fashion Outlets of Chicago is also partnering with BAGS Inc. which is certified by the Transportation Security Administration, to operate a concierge service that will allow travelers to print boarding passes and check shopping bags and luggage directly to their flights.