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Prime growth ahead

June 09, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

In addition to a plan to add space for 25 new stores, Prime Outlets at Hagerstown wants to build a 64,000-square-foot building that will house a single large store, a company executive told the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday.

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Plans for the building will be submitted to the county within two weeks, said Brian Downie, vice president of development of Prime Retail, the center's Baltimore-based owner.

The company would not say what store will go in the building, which will be on the east side of the outlet mall near The Gap. There currently are about 80 stores at the outlet mall.

The company has received conditional approval to construct the 100,000-square-foot third phase at the outlet mall, Downie said. The names of the stores in the third phase have not been released.

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Downie said he wants construction of both the new phase and the additional building to start by the end of the year.

The construction work will include an expansion north of the mall's parking lot, he said.

Downie was before the County Commissioners to provide an update of developments at the outlet mall.

"Things are going very well," with sales and growth are at the point the company would like them to be, Downie said.

"You folks have been great to work with," said Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger, who dealt with the company as the former chairman of the Washington County Planning Commission.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said there has been a clear "domino effect" of tourism dollars coming into Washington County because of the outlet mall.

The village-style outlet center opened with 51 stores in its 218,000-square-foot first phase in August 1998.

The number of stores at the center grew to 76 when the 100,000-square-foot second phase opened in November.

The outlet mall, at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Sharpsburg Pike, attracted more than 1.6 million shoppers in the first five months it was open.

According to recent market research, an estimated 40 percent of those shoppers came from the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.

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