leader

Expansion of Tanger Outlet Center nearing completion

Published April 2013: Most of an $8 million expansion and renovation project that broke ground last August at Tanger Gonzales Outlet Center in Ascension Parish is nearing completion, but the opening of several designer outlet stores last month have shoppers very excited.

J. Crew, Talbots, Under Armour, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Loft and Brooks Brothers are now open, and Polo will open in August.

Although the addition of these quality, brand-name stores gives shoppers more reasons to make Tanger Gonzales their shopping destination, they will also enjoy more square footage, additional parking spaces, a new two-lane road, cut-throughs, increased lighting, sidewalks, common areas, revived landscaping and eventually, a second entrance from Hwy. 30.

The addition of brand-name stores gives shoppers more reasons to make Tanger Gonzales their shopping destination, they will also enjoy more square footage, additional parking spaces, a new two-lane road, cut-throughs, increased lighting, sidewalks, common areas, revived landscaping and eventually, a second entrance from Hwy. 30.

Grand opening celebration

To commemorate the newest expansion at the Gonzales location, there will be a grand opening event, Tanger Taste and Style, on April 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 7 from noon until 5 p.m.

Celebrity Chef and Top Chef Judge Curtis Stone will be on hand hosting cooking demonstrations and signing autographs, as he launches a five or six Tanger Outlet tour beginning with the Gonzales location. Kitchenaid will be hosting live demos as well.

Food trucks from the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas will be serving up culinary delights while shoppers enjoy live music from the Stooges Brass Brand and the Chee Wheez.

Plenty of coupons, sales and other specials are to be featured celebrating the new Tanger Gonzales expansion. Jugglers, balloon sculptors, stilt walkers and more will be on hand for the entire family.

To find out more about the Tanger Taste and Style event, the new stores or any of the expansion work, call Tanger Outlet Gonzales at 225-647-9383. You can also visit www.tangeroutlet.com/gonzales.

Working with Gonzales

To help fund the improvements, the Gonzales City Council approved a 1-cent sales tax last May on purchases made within the center, and part of the money will go toward infrastructure upgrades. The increased tax applies only to stores or businesses within the Tanger complex and not to outlying restaurants and gasoline stations.

An infrastructure upgrade such as a second entrance at Robert Wilson Road and La. 30 will alleviate traffic issues related to the expansion, explained Tanger Outlet General Manager John Taylor.

“We’re working with the City of Gonzales and the state to determine the best fit for that intersection, since it is a state highway. But once it’s completed, it will benefit everyone, including the local economy,” said Taylor. “Awnings will also be erected over the rear of the stores at the new entrance making it friendlier and more welcoming for shoppers. Many people don’t even know you can enter from the rear of the stores so this will make them more accessible.”

“Tanger is pleased to be making this multi-million dollar investment in the Gonzales community and the state of Louisiana,” remarked Steven B. Tanger, the company’s president and CEO. “We are excited to take this next step in further developing this modern, upscale shopping environment with a uniquely southern feel for our more than four million annual shoppers in Gonzales. The addition of the new stores makes in season and on trend merchandise even more accessible for our customers shopping for value-priced merchandise.”

Some of the renovation work at the outlet mall is still being completed but the size has increased 50,000 square feet to a spacious 322,000 square feet. The expansion not only includes the addition of the new designer outlet stores but also the relocation of several existing ones.

“Direct Tools will now have a permanent home, as will Maurices, an apparel boutique for young women, and Samsonite, the luggage store, also moved locations and is now featured in the new expansion building,” said Taylor.

The addition of new stores is primarily customer-driven. “There has always been a lot of interest from the various designer outlets but there just wasn’t a lot of space,” Taylor said. “This is why Coach was added four years ago and why Polo will be added in August.”

Taylor explained that when corporate asset meetings are held, one of goals is to determine the top three requests from shoppers. “It’s always, ‘When is Polo coming? When is Polo opening? When are you opening a Polo store?’”

Taylor said everyone is eager for the expansion. “We’re very excited…these are the stores everyone’s been waiting for and once Polo is open, we’ll move right into the holiday shopping season.”

Each store is its own entity, and as such, have hired their own builders to renovate the inside of each outlet. But, Taylor said, local electricians, carpenters, construction companies, contractors and the like were all hired for the bulk of the expansion work with C 70 Construction – which has supervised other Tanger expansions – overseeing the entire project.

The expansion created about 70 jobs during the construction phase and many full and part-time retail jobs within the outlet’s entire structure. Sales resulting from the renovation are estimated at $15 million in additional tax revenue, according to Tanger estimates.

J. Crew, Talbots, Under Armour, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Loft and Brooks Brothers are now open, and Polo will open in August.

The recent expansion marks the second renovation for the Gonzales shopping center. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina brought the Gulf Coast to its knees, the city of Gonzales and the Baton Rouge area gave shelter to people fleeing New Orleans.

As it did in 2008 with a $10 million renovation, and now in 2013 with the $8 million expansion, Tanger’s faith in the positive economic forecast for both East Baton Rouge and Ascension Parishes proves solid and strong.

The population spurt from Katrina, as well as the steady growth of traffic and economic development along I-10, have helped pave the way for substantial growth in both the commercial and residential markets between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This also means a steady flow of customers for the new and improved Tanger outlet.