Local retail under new ownership

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September 7, 2010

12:21 AM

A popular student destination is now under new management.

The Williamsburg Prime Outlets, accessible from campus by car and by the Williamsburg Area Transport’s Blue Line via the Williamsburg Area Transport, have been sold to Simon Property Inc., an Indianapolis-based company that has the world’s largest collection of upscale outlet centers.

According to Simon’s website, the company owns more than 350 properties with 262-million square-feet of space, including sites in Europe and Asia.

“We are very excited to be the new owners of the Williamsburg center, as it is a high- quality property with a wonderful ambiance and merchant mix, and we look forward to being a part of the community and serving the students of the College of William and Mary,” Senior Vice President of Marketing for Premium Outlets Michele Rothstein said. “We hope the new ownership is viewed positively, as we will continue to bring great outlet shopping to the students and staff.”

The former Prime Outlets shopping center will now be marketed worldwide, and added exposure which will hopefully result in a positive economic impact for the City of Williamsburg.

The completed sale is valued at $2.3 billion. Premium Outlets, the outlet division of Simon Property Inc., has now added 22 shopping centers to its portfolio, including the one in Williamsburg, which were previously owned by the Baltimore-based Prime Outlets. Representatives for the Prime Outlets and for the Premium Outlets did not comment on why the company was sold.

The shopping center has been renamed the Williamsburg Premium Outlets, in order to give it the trademarked brand name of the Premium Outlets. Apart from the new name, the shopping center will not undergo any other immediate changes.

New retailers may be added to the over 100 stores, which currently include Bath and Body Works, Charlotte Russe, J. Crew and Polo Ralph Lauren.

“The [Williamsburg] center has a great mix of stores, but as with all our centers, we always look to enhance the merchant mix as space becomes available over time,” Rothstein said.

Any new retailers will be announced on the Premium Outlets website.

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