Burlington Outlet Village optimistic for economic recovery despite Tanger opening
By Drew Smith
The Burlington Outlet Village is attempting to bounce back from the economic downturn. Next year will mark 30 years since the center opened.
“It’s been a couple of very difficult years,” owner Jim Anthony said. “We had no idea that Tanger was coming, we had no idea that so many retailers were going to file bankruptcy.”
Anthony purchased a portion of the mall in late 2006 and closed on a second part of the property in 2007. When he bought the mall, it was 80 percent occupied by tenants. He would see that number drop to around 50 percent as retailers were hit hard by the recession.
Anthony references the newly opened Tanger Outlets in Mebane, just a few exits east of Burlington Outlet Village. He announced in a press conference Friday that Tanger’s new presence has not had a negative impact. The Outlet Village only lost three shops. Anthony was pleased that many other businesses have plans to stay in the Burlington shopping center.
Anthony said he wants customers to view the mall as more than just a place to shop.
“We’re really committed to community transformation and development,” Anthony said. “We have a lot of other things going on here than just owning real estate and operating it.”
The Palladium, an event center designed to host parties and meetings, just opened in the Outlet Village. Owners Kavonne and Stefen Brooks hope to expand on the community-centered theme.
“Burlington is a close-knit community and we’re all about community and giving back,” Kavonne Brooks said.
With this new outlook and more tenants filling up the mall, Anthony is more confident about the future.
“This previously neglected corner of Alamance County has been improved and stabilized and is actually on the rebound,” he said.
In addition to the Palladium, the Burlington Christmas Market opened over the weekend. Anthony said he is in negotiations to bring in many more businesses in the coming months.News