WASHINGTON — How do you design an outlet center to make sure shoppers hit as many of the stores as possible? You design it like a racetrack.
Clarksburg Premium Outlets, which will have about 90 stores once all tenants are open, held its grand opening Thursday, about a year after construction began.
Clarksburg Premium Outlets, directly off Interstate 270 at the Clarksburg Road/Exit 18 exit, isn’t just a retail racetrack; it’s a double-decker racetrack.
“We have created this racetrack design, and, essentially, that is a round-shaped shopping center with one internal mall that takes you through the entire course, so you park your car in one location and you’re able to see every single storefront before you get back to your car,” Stephen Yalof, CEO of Premium Outlets at Simon Property Group, told WTOP.
But the real estate at Clarksburg was a little more challenging.
“The topography was challenging; the wetlands component to the property that we bought was very challenging, so what we’ve done is create a two-level racetrack, essentially stacked on top of each other as opposed to creating a traditional loop,” he says.
Its two-level footprint makes it hard to miss as you’re driving by on I-270.
“The interesting thing about locating an outlet center is trying to find locations that have great access and great visibility, but also in areas that are a little bit further away from the regional shopping malls that have the full-price retailers,” Yalof says.
Clarksburg Premium Outlets has also created about 800 full- and part-time jobs.
Grand opening events at Clarksburg will run through the weekend.