By Matt Wiley
If what general manager Stacey Nance told the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) during its recent Monthly Business Breakfast, the opening weekend for Simon Property Group’s new Tampa Premium Outlets is true—and we think it is—is something you won’t want to miss.
During the Chamber’s Monthly Business Breakfast at Pasco-Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch (located off Mansfield Blvd.) on August 18, Nance gave a brief presentation about what to expect in the coming weeks, as Tampa Premium Outlets prepares to officially open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 29, just south of S.R. 56, in the Cypress Creek Town Center Development of Regional Impact (DRI).
Crews broke ground in December, but from the photos that Nance showed the room of more than 100 WCCC members, the 441,000-sq.-ft. mall is nearly complete. The breakfast was Nance’s first formal event since arriving in our area in June from another Simon location in Muncie, IN.
“When I came down here from Muncie three months ago, it was overwhelming… I knew that this was the place that I wanted to be,” Nance said, before introducing the other members of her administrative team.
New Jersey transplant and 15-year Simon employee Kelly Holmes will serve as the mall’s office administrator, making administrative support decisions, while Nance’s fellow former Indiana resident Dallas Stevens will serve as operations director. Stevens has been with Simon for two years and will be in charge of the mall’s operational functions, including construction, contracted services, maintenance and supervising the grounds-keeping and custodial teams before and after the mall’s opening.
Nance reiterated that the mall will feature a soft color palette (which already can be seen when driving by on I-75 or S.R. 56), as well as a pedestrian-friendly, Key West “feel.” The mall is an open-air concept with 110 stores in nine buildings with palm trees and water features throughout. The mall also will feature a central “lagoon,” which Nance said was a first for a Simon outlet mall.
“Our Center Court will feature a lagoon with a bridge,” Nance said. “Dallas wants to know how we’re going to keep the snakes and gators out.”
Nance displayed a slide full of logos for the first 14 “official” tenants that have been announced.
“Hopefully, you see some stores here that you’re anxious to (shop at),” Nance joked. “I see some heads nodding.”
While she wouldn’t announce any other stores, Nance said that the stores that have been named in these pages and other local media outlets are accurate and that more announcements are on the way.
“We have a different marketing plan for when we are going to put those names out,” Nance explained. “We have our full lineup. We’re 100-percent occupied and we’ll be about 91-percent occupied when we open in October.”
Speaking of the Grand Opening, Nance advised everyone to go to PremiumOutlets.com/VIP and sign up for the “VIP Club,” which will be ripe with information regarding VIP special events, deals and other promotions during opening weekend, as well as grant visitors access to the VIP Club, where the yet-to-be-named “celebrities” will be in attendance.
Nance also told Chamber members about the highly anticipated Job Fair, held on August 27 at the Embassy Suites at the University of South Florida off E. Fowler Ave. in Tamap, which was just after we went to press with this issue. For photos, see WCNeighborhoodNews.com. Nance said that, based upon previous calls and emails from the community, her staff was expecting “thousands” to show up for about 800 available part-time, full-time, seasonal and managerial jobs for the mall’s 110 stores.
Although TPO already is massive, Nance told the crowd that Simon already is looking to the future and a possible expansion. Nance said that Simon has purchased 37 more acres adjacent to the property in the Cypress Creek Town Center. While she remained mum on what could fill the future outparcels, she said that Simon has some ideas.
“Thank you for welcoming us to the Greater Wesley Chapel area,” Nance told the crowd. “We are so excited to be a part of your community for many years to come.”
“Thanks to the Neighborhood News for all the publicity,” Nance said following her presentation.
For more info, visit PremiumOutlets.com/Tampa.