Despite initial hopes that Elk Grove’s anticipated outlet mall could open by late next year, city officials now project it may not open until at least 2017.
“The timing of the opening is uncertain, but it is not likely to be earlier than year three of the Five Year forecast,” said the statement tucked into Elk Grove’s 2014-2015 budget, adding that “uncertainty surrounding both the opening date and the development agreement between the mall developers and the City make assumptions unreliable at this point.”
The city is eager to convert the hulking, half-completed Elk Grove Promenade into a south county answer to outlets in Folsom and Vacaville. Dallas-based developers Howard Hughes Corp. initially announced plans to convert the mall site off Highway 99 into the Outlet Collection with an eye toward a late 2015 opening but has not committed to a firm date.
Hughes officials said Tuesday their plans for the Outlet Collection remain on track and that they believe the city is being conservative in its estimate.
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Rob Stutzman, spokesman for Hughes’ Elk Grove project, said the developer hasn’t slowed anything down. But the company continues to say it hasn’t established an opening date for the mall.
“Nothing has happened to delay progress at all,” Stutzman said. “There’s also no opening date.”
Elk Grove officials on Tuesday said the city’s budget statement was a conservative estimate of the mall opening, adding that Hughes is actively marketing the site as a high-end outlet.
The original Promenade project was envisioned as a conventional shopping mall with Macy’s and other major tenants before construction halted in 2008, a casualty of a building bust.
The new Outlet Collection incarnation would include a 14-screen movie theater, restaurants and other amenities.
The city’s budget statement “doesn’t reflect any delay” in the project, said Elk Grove spokeswoman Christine Brainerd. “The city is optimistic, but we’re being conservative on timelines.”
Stutzman said the company expects to secure development agreements from the Elk Grove City Council sometime this summer, a milestone that will help facilitate leasing activity.
The company has been talking to tenants and “interest is very high,” Stutzman said. “It’s a very good sign.”