Representatives of Montgomery County and the State of Maryland, joined leaders from the primary development companies, as well as local leaders and residents to mark the official beginning of construction on the Clarksburg Premium Outlets on Wednesday morning.
Clarksburg Premium Outlets, which are to be located off exit 18 of I-270, will bring the world’s most recognized and popular brand of upscale outlet shopping to the Clarksburg area in fall 2016. Upon completion, the center will offer 90 stores featuring high-quality designer and name brands at an impressive savings of 25- to 65-percent every day. The project will also have a significant positive economic impact on the area, generating more than 300 construction jobs and 800 full-time and part-time employees once the center opens.
“This is a community asset,” said Councilmember Craig Rice, who represents District 2 which includes Clarksburg, “and that is why this day is so important. It represents the jobs created in building this outlet mall and all that is going to happen afterwards. This is truly a game changer for this community.”
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said, “We are expanding in the Upcounty. We’ve had a conflict in the county on how we can develop the Upcounty, while still maintaining our rural character. That is important to us. We pride ourselves on the amount of farmland and open space we have in Montgomery County, but this location balances all of those things very well. We have a premium group of developers who have made it possible, we have large numbers of people who wanted a proposal along I-270. I am confident that this will be a success.”
Leggett was referring to the fact that the project is a joint venture between Simon Retail Properties, Bethesda-based Streetscape Partners and Boston-based New England Development.
“We believe there is a strong unmet demand for this type of retail center in the market,” said Douglass Karp, president of New England Development. “There is no other high-end outlet in Montgomery County. We believe that overwhelming public support we enjoyed in our approval process reflects the need for this type of retail center here in Montgomery County.”
“We believe that the site visibility from I-270 and access from Route 121 is excellent. This is the right location for this type of retail development. The ongoing improvements to the interchange at Route 121 will assure that both local and regional customers will be able to find it easily and get there efficiently,” said Karp.
Benjamin H. Wu, Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, told the dignitaries and residents gathered on the site that the project will be the “crown jewel and symbol of the kind of economic power that Maryland and Montgomery County represent.”
“One thing we know about Simon Properties,” said Wu, “is that people from all over the region and other states will come and we expect that Clarksburg will become another destination success story for Simon, and for Maryland and Montgomery County. The opening of this world class outlets center in a beautiful location.”
Rice echoed those sentiments saying that project will tap into visitors coming to the Upcounty area from all over the east coast. “When you talk about the synergy that you find at our Maryland SoccerPlex, and the visitors that come all the way from New York to Florida. Those folks are going to be looking for places to go and things to do. This project represents that and gives us an opportunity to highlight the great things that are here in Montgomery County.”
Rice also spoke about the impact on the local economy in terms of additional jobs and revenue. “My very first job was working at a local MacDonald’s,” said Rice, “but another job I had after left that job was working at Montgomery County Mall for a number of summers. Those were great experiences, which gave me an understanding of what it meant to work — what it meant to earn a dollar, what it meant to be self-sufficient, what it meant that I had control over my future. All of those things will be represented here at Clarksburg Premium Outlets. It is not just a great place to shop.”
“People actually being able to live and work in the same place is what we want. We want to make sure that we have opportunities for our kids to gain experience,” said Rice.
Steven Dworkin, senior vice president-development with Simon Premium Outlets, thanked that residents of the Upcounty area for their support for the project. “We’ve been working tirelessly for the past three years, and I know that the residents of Clarksburg have been waiting much longer than that to see much need retail development.”
“I am happy to say that today, without a doubt that day has arrived,” said Dworkin. “Over the past three years we’ve heard loud and clear from the residents of Clarksburg, Germantown, Gaithersburg and beyond about what you have wanted to see out of this development and our team has worked very hard to deliver that. I want to acknowledge and thank all the residents of northern Montgomery County that have rallied behind us. Your vocal and enthusiastic support was instrumental in making this day possible. We truly appreciate all that you have done and we are very excited about becoming a part of this community.”
Ron Kaplan, the principal partner in Streetscape Partners said, “This will be the first two-level outlet center Simon has done. This will be the nicest outlet you’ve ever shopped out.”
Once the project, in October of 2016, shoppers will experience a 390,000 square-foot open-air, state of the art shopping center with modern architecture, gathering places for the family and great food choices, and over 90 world-class brands offering.
“But the great thing about the premium outlet is that is not only an amazing place to shop, save money and spend time with friends and family,” said Dworkin. “It is also an engine of economic growth. This project will create over 500 construction jobs and once opened next October over 800 people will be proud to say that they work at Clarksburg Premium Outlets. In addition to meaningful job creation, this center will also produce significant real estate tax and sales tax revenue benefiting both the State of Maryland and the local community.”
Dworkin would not say what, if any brands and stores had committed to being tenants at the new outlet center, but said that Simon Properties were working very hard to bring the best possible mix of brands to the new retail development.
Top: Partners, developers, and local leaders participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets on Wednesday morning.
Next: The work on the site has already begun as heavy equipment has transformed what was once farmland into a construction site which will house the 390,000 square-foot, shopping outlet.
Next: Councilmember and District 2 representative Craig Rice addresses the gathered guests at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Next: County Executive Ike Leggett speaks to the gathered crowd.
Next: An architect’s drawing of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets.
Next: Steven Dworkin, senior vice president-development with Simon Premium Outlets.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.