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Saturday, Jun 3, 2023

Outlet Mall Expansion Adding 40 Stores, Event Plaza

A spring completion is expected for the Camarillo Promenade, the expansion of the popular Premium Outlets mall on the city’s south side. The Chelsea Property Group planned the 29-acre expansion to meet a demand for more shopping opportunities before the economy took a nosedive. The Promenade also includes locations for five restaurants. Because the whole premise of what Chelsea offers through its outlet malls is value, having more shops available is appropriate for these times, said Michele Rothstein, senior vice president of marketing for the New Jersey-based developer. “In this economy people are looking at how they are spending their money,” Rothstein said. “If there is a shopper out there who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality that is where outlets are getting a lot of attention.” The U.S. Commerce Department reported that for November, seasonally adjusted retail and food sales dropped 1.8 sales from October and declined by 7.4 percent from November 2007. Consumer spending will continue to be bad through the first half of 2009, so the Promenade opens on the tail end of the recession, said Mark Schniepp, the executive director of the California Economic Forecast. “Opening up in April in May would be a tough opening for any new retail,” Schniepp said. “They may want to delay any opening until the fall or the summer.” That is the type of environment faced by Chelsea, which owns or partially owns outlet malls throughout the U.S., and overseas in Japan, Korea and Mexico. A New Jersey mall opened in November and Camarillo is one of two the company will open in 2009, the other in Cincinnati. The Promenade, on which construction started in January, is located at Las Posas Road and Ventura Boulevard, just west of the Premium Outlets mall and across the street from the Camarillo Town Center. The Premium Outlets is the top visitors draw in Ventura County, bringing in regional and international shoppers to its 120 stores and restaurants. Buses are available to bring shoppers from the Warner Center in Woodland Hills and Los Angeles directly to the outlets. The mall even has special “shop and stay” packages with area hotels to have shoppers stay overnight. Stores were added every year from its opening in 1995 until 1999, expanding its main court and fashion court areas. From an economic development perspective, the mall exceeded expectations. “It’s perceived as a better bargain than other outlets,” said Bruce Stenslie, president and CEO of the Economic Development Collaborative Ventura County. At 40 stores, the Promenade is considerably smaller but will bring in a different mix of retailers. The complex will have different architectural look and feel from the Premium Outlets and includes a plaza area to host events. “It was designed with an open-air feel,” Rothstein said. A bonus from the Promenade project was that Chelsea was required to extend a water line to the Camarillo Airport, which has long been served by well water, said John Fraser, a senior management analyst with the City of Camarillo. “That increases the possibility of new development over there,” Fraser said. Leasing of retail space was going well, Rothstein said, although the only store she would name was the Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th relocating from the outlets mall. Columbia Sportswear and Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center are reportedly among other stores to locate at the Promenade. Last Call stores are in four other Chelsea Group properties, including San Diego. The Promenade is not the only new project in that area of the city. The proposed Paseo Camino Real, a commercial retail and office complex by Selleck Properties, is proposed for 40 acres to the west. The north side of Ventura Boulevard across from the Promenade is the site of a 250-room Marriott Hotel with a conference center. The developer that had been negotiating with Marriott pulled out of the project so the city will go out for new proposals in the spring, Fraser said. “We think it is going to be a thriving area,” Fraser said. “One thing that Camarillo misses out on is the larger symposiums and workshops because we don’t have a hotel with a large conference center.”

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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