Retail ‘racetrack’ — Clarksburg Premium Outlets open

Shoppers at the opening of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)
Shoppers at the opening of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)

Cutting the ribbon the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)
Cutting the ribbon the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)

The Clarksburg Premium Outlets on opening day. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)
The Clarksburg Premium Outlets on opening day. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)

Shoppers at the opening of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)
Shoppers at the opening of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)

(1/4)
Shoppers at the opening of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)
Cutting the ribbon the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)
The Clarksburg Premium Outlets on opening day. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)
Shoppers at the opening of the Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Simon Property Group)

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.

A map of the new Clarksburg Premium Outlets. (Courtesy Clarksburg Premium Outlets)
A map of the new Clarksburg Premium Outlets. Click to view the map at full size. (Courtesy Clarksburg Premium Outlets)

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up