Analyst: St. Louis-area can't support 2 outlet malls in Chesterfield Valley

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by Ray Preston / News 4 and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 5:45 PM

At least one financial analyst says there is not enough demand in the St. Louis area to support two outlet malls being built in the Chesterfield Valley.

In what’s become known as the Battle of the Outlet Malls, drivers along Highway 40 have watched for the past several months as both malls have risen up from the ground.

The Taubman Prestige Mall, located just east of Boone’s Crossing, is set to open in early August. Just a few miles down the road, St. Louis Premium is set to open a few weeks later.

Now a financial analyst is weighing in on the battle.

Between the two malls, there will be 800,000 sq. feet of retail. Questions have arisen whether the St. Louis area is ready for that.

Financial analyst Brad Thomas, a contributor for the Seeking Alpha website, says while there’s a demand here, there may not be enough of one to support both malls.

“I would say instead of having one big, high-quality above average product, you’re going to have two average projects at this time,” Thomas said.

The two malls are fighting over the well-known stores and are dividing up brand names like Nike, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap and Ralph Lauren.

The city of Chesterfield says if one struggles as an outlet mall, there’s always the possibility it can change directions.

“We need to keep in mind we’ve zoned and approved both these sites for commercial activity, not specifically an outlet mall, so there was no requirement that both become an outlet mall,” said Aimee Nassif with Chesterfield Planning and Development. “They could end up changing or switching over to commercial development.”

Nassif says the market will have to dictate what becomes of the malls.

In a worst-case scenario, if one were to go under, the city says there are safeguards in place to maintain the property so it doesn’t turn into an eyesore.

 

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