A local developer is taking steps to build an outlet mall in South Anchorage.
On a 27-acre swath of wetlands southwest of the intersection at 100th Avenue and C Street, the developer, JL Properties, is angling to provide 200,000 square feet of retail space for dozens of outlet shops.
The company originally bought the land last spring. From there, the question was what to do with it, said Leonard Hyde, one of the principals of JL Properties.
With little experience in the outlet business, the company looked to a group called Outlets of the Pacific, Hyde said. The group had been working to bring an outlet mall to Anchorage for several years, he said, but a large, well placed plot of land had failed to surface.
"It struck us that this one could be a possibility," Hyde said.
The location is across from Target and the Cabela's store now under construction.
The first phase of the development is estimated to cost about $70 million, Hyde said. The company is still weighing whether to commit to building an additional 200,000 square feet of space, which would be carried out in two phases.
Hyde did not say which name brands may be included in the mall. But he said the retail landscape will "look very similar to the new outlets you're seeing around the country."
Construction is scheduled to start next summer, headed toward an opening date of Oct. 1, 2015, Hyde said.
Anchorage has long awaited its first outlet mall. The malls are popular across the country for their big discounts on overstocked or undersold goods from the nation's largest retail chains.
Bill Popp, director of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp., called a local outlet mall a "great opportunity."
"It will add to the market, rather than just shuffling the deck chairs around," he said.
Outlets can also compete with online and catalog ordering, bolstering the regional tax base and job market, Popp said.
In March 2012, Dimond Center LLC unveiled plans for a 150,000-square-foot, multi-level outlet shopping destination called The Outlets of Alaska, which included high-profile brand stores such as Best Buy, Old Navy and Gap.
That outlet development was advertised as opening in fall 2013. With the end of 2013 fast approaching, the status of the project is unclear.
A spokesman for the Dimond Center could not be reached to answer questions about the status of the project. The real estate advisory firm for the project, FFO Realty, also did not respond to requests for comment.
JL Properties in the process of applying for a wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and in January, work is scheduled to begin on a sewer connection to the site, Hyde said.
Reach Devin Kelly at email@example.com or 257-4314.
By DEVIN KELLY