OK Outlets Projected to Bring 1700 Jobs

Oklahoma City Council Members today approved amendments to a 2008 joint agreement between developer Horizon Group Properties LP (HGP), the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust and The City of Oklahoma City for the developer to build an outlet mall in Oklahoma City.

An agreement was first signed in May 2008 between city entities and the developer. The project was set to open in November 2009, but dramatic changes in the retail market and the developer’s difficulty to obtain financing took a toll on the project.

The original agreement required a minimum investment of $50 million by HGP. The project was expected to generate approximately $106 million in annual retail sales at the center and an estimated $4.1 million in sales tax revenues each year for the city.

Further, HGP requested incentives with the agreement to include a regional marketing reimbursement of $5.5 million over a ten-year period (approximately 12.5 percent of sales taxes received).

Details within the amended agreement include a change in size of the center from 340,000 square feet to 320,000 square feet, and an increase from $2,395,000 to $3,937,690 in public improvements to the site from the city, which includes $1 million for Drive 2, a private road.

The project is expected to generate 700 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs, with $19 million in direct payroll. It is anticipated that the property will bring 90 retailers into the outlet center with a possible 75,000-square-foot expansion on several out-parcels based on the success of the mall.

By August 31, 2010, the developer must meet certain requirements before the city proceeds with public improvements. By end of August, the developer needs to close on land acquisition, execute its construction contract and provide evidence of financing for the project.