EAGAN, Minn. (AP) -- The Eagan City Council approved preliminary plans this week for an outlet mall that would open in two years with nearly 100 brand-name stores.
The project's last big hurdle is a development agreement between the city and developer Paragon Outlet Partners, but city officials said they expect the deal to be hammered out by about January, according to a St. Paul Pioneer Press report. Paragon Outlets at Cedar Grove is being billed as an open-air outlet center on 29 acres near the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Minnesota 13. Although it would be the only outlet mall in heart of the seven-county metro area, it would only be about five miles from the Mall of America.
Kelvin Antill, a Paragon spokesman, said the proximity to a traditional mall can be a good thing for an outlet mall.
"They shop there one day and the outlet mall the next day," he said. "We really think we can feed off that. A mutual feeding, if you will."
Paragon already opened outlet malls this year in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Livermore, Calif., and Antill said both projects were 100 percent leased on opening day.
The developers have told city officials that its similar projects generally had an investment of more than $100 million, created 400 construction jobs and produced 1,500 to 2,000 retail jobs.
"It's a significant project," Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire said. "It's going to be significant for not only for Eagan, but I think for the south metro."
A study commissioned by the city to assess potential demand concluded that anticipated growth in the Twin Cities area would lead to retail expenditures increasing from $2.9 billion in 2014, when the outlet mall is slated to open, to nearly $3.7 billion in 2020. The study was performed by Maxfield Research Inc.
Paragon said it would court many of its retail clients from its other outlet malls, including Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Coach, the Children's Place, DKNY and Nike.
City Council member Cyndee Fields said she was excited about the proposal.
"I'm envisioning we're going to have a huge amount of traffic," she said. "This is like one of the first outlet malls in a long time in the Twin Cities. It's going to be huge, I know it is."