Court won't block Prime Retail outlet mall

October 14, 1997


Staff Writer

A court ruling has cleared the way for Prime Retail Inc. to begin site preparation as early as this week for its planned $40 million outlet mall near Hagerstown.

The 50-store first phase of the Outlet Village of Hagerstown is scheduled to open next summer. The property is in the northwest corner of the Interstate 70/Md. 65 interchange.

The Maryland Court of Appeals last week refused to hear an appeal of a Court of Special Appeals ruling in June that upheld the rezoning of the property.


The first phase will include about 210,000 square feet of retail space and an enclosed food court. The center eventually will total 440,000 square feet and 100 shops featuring clothing stores, housewares, electronics, gifts, shoes and other accessories. The site plan includes 1,274 parking spaces and estimates nearly 13,750 car trips per day.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission has estimated that the center will create 1,000 jobs with a payroll exceeding $13 million and sales of $112 million.

"We have a lot of interest in the location from prospective merchants and now we can begin construction immediately and aggressively move forward with the project," William H. Carpenter Jr., president and chief operating officer of Prime Retail, said in a press release.

"We look forward to bringing a large selection of first-quality, brand-name merchandise at discount prices to the area's value-conscious shoppers," Carpenter said.

"The region's strong demographics, as well as Hagerstown's proximity to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, make the area a prime location for an outlet center," he said.

The new mall will compete with the Blue Ridge Outlets in Martinsburg, W.Va., for metropolitan customers. It will be less than three miles from Valley Mall.

Similar to other Prime Retail centers, the mall will be built in village style, with rows of shops divided by courtyards. The center also will include a children's playground.

"Although we are not able to disclose specific merchants until closer to the grand opening, Prime Retail outlet centers nationwide typically include stores such as Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Nautica, Nike and GAP," Carpenter said.

Planning Director Robert C. Arch said major improvements will be made to Md. 65 because of the mall and will be paid for in part by Prime Retail. The Washington County Commissioners have begun the process of forming a special taxing district for Prime Retail. The additional taxes, which were requested by Prime Retail, will go to pay off bonds to pay for improvements on and off Prime Retail's property.

Prime Retail had entered into a contract to acquire the 60-acre property contingent on the rezoning. The Washington County Commissioners approved the rezoning in March 1996. The rezoning was appealed by Valley Mall Associates, MJD Limited Partnership and members of the community.

Baltimore-based Prime Retail owns 24 outlet centers in 18 states totalling 6.3 million square feet.

More information on Prime Retail is available at (

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