Huge GP Outlet Mall on Hold

Delay presents challenge for Grand Prairie

Construction of a huge outlet mall in south Grand Prairie has been delayed but not canceled, the developer said Tuesday.

Anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and Nieman Marcus' Last Call, the 450,000-square-foot center was to be located just northeast of Interstate 20 and Highway 360.

Original plans called for construction to begin in the third quarter of 2008 and to be completed by the 2009 Christmas shopping season.

But construction has not started, and it is not clear when it will.

The developer, Baltimore-based Prime Retail, said it still plans on building the mall.

"We are moving forward with developing Prime Outlets – Grand Prairie," Prime Retail said in a written statement.  "We have lease commitments signed for approximately 50 percent of our ground-up project and are in the process of securing our construction loans."

But the timetable is not clear.

"Timing of the project will obviously be contingent upon the macroeconomic factors facing our nation and we hope to start building by the end of this year," the company said.

The mall was expected to include at least 100 stores, attract up to 5 million visitors a year, create 500 jobs and contribute $4 million a year in sales tax revenue to the city.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for Grand Prairie. Like many cities, it is wrestling with budget cuts amid a drop in tax revenues.

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