Posted: 11:05 am Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
By Emily Roach
Demolition of the 1960s era Palm Beach Mall should start in about two months as developers plan to rebuild the Palm Beach Fashion Outlets off Interstate 95 at Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard.
Down will go 1.2 million square feet of enclosed, traditional mall. Up will go 1.1 million square feet of outdoor-style mall, West Palm Beach Building Director Doug Wise said.
Developers have said they plan to have outlet stores and traditional retailers.
New England Development, a Massachusetts-based real estate firm, partnered with Eastern Real Estate and Lubert-Adler to buy the 80-acre mall in October for $35.5 million. The goal is to have the new outlet mall open in 2013.
With a hoped for April start, the demolition will be carefully crafted to allow JCPenney and George’s Music to remain open, Wise said.
“They’ve got some challenges to work through, to keep Penney’s open, safe,” Wise said.
The new configuration — probably a $150 million project — will bring new life to the neighborhood and jobs, Wise said.
“It’s going to be a huge improvement to the neighborhood,” Wise said.
Marketing materials shown at trade shows have listed a number of proposed premium outlets, including Nordstrom Rack, Bloomingdale’s Outlet Store and Last Call by Neiman Marcus. Other outlets listed are Nike, Gap, Old Navy and Ralph Lauren. Big-box stores such as TJ Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond and the Burlington Coat Factory also have been listed. BJ’s Wholesale Club also is said to be interested.
New England Development CEO Stephen Karp said last month that a separate grocery store may be built at the outlet mall as well.
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Alexandra Clough contributed to this report.