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Outlets of Little Rock Marks Grand Opening

2 min read

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola called the Outlets of Little Rock a “true economic investment” Friday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the center’s official grand opening.

Construction began on the Outlets after New England Development purchased a 30-acre tract of land at Gateway Town Center in May 2014 for $5.2 million.

Developers expect the center, located at the junction of I-30 and I-430 next door to Bass Pro Shops, to help draw in thousands of shoppers.

“It’s really great to be located next to Bass Pro Shops, which has already been established as a shopping destination,” said Douglas Karp, president of New England Development. “Together, we have created an exciting destination that will serve the shopping needs of local and regional residents, help attract thousands of visitors to Pulaski County, provide hundreds of employment opportunities, and generate a significant economic impact on the local and state levels.”

The Outlets are expected to generate $100 million in annual retail sales and $6.5 million in annual state sales tax.

“The new money that’s going to be coming into here is what makes a mayor and city officials excited,” Stodola said.

The construction phase supported 1,000 jobs, the center will employ 800 to 1,000 employees, developers said.

The Outlets are also expected to drive tourism in Pulaski County, which already hosts 5.7 million annual visitors. Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that shopping is one of the top amenities people consider when picking a vacation or getaway destination.

“We know from research that shopping is a top priority for tourists to the area,” Hall said. “No longer will tourists in the area have to travel to nearby states for an outlet destination.”

The names of tenants were released in August and more were announced the following month. Key stores include J. Crew Crewcuts Factory, a Nike Factory Store, Restoration Hardware Outlet and Brooks Brothers Factory Store. There will be about 75 retailers once all the stores open.

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