ONTARIO MILLS MALL SLATED FOR CALIFORNIA

Byline: Sharon Edelson

NEW YORK — The Mills Corp., an outlet mall developer based in Washington, said it plans to build what it calls a “super-regional outlet mall” of 1.6 million square feet in Ontario, Calif., 40 miles east of Los Angeles.
Construction is to begin in spring 1995 and be completed by fall 1996. The mall is expected to cost more than $150 million.
Ontario Mills Mall will have 14 anchor stores and about 200 specialty stores. According to the company, about 80 percent of the space already has been leased.
The Clearinghouse by Saks Fifth Avenue; Bed, Bath and Beyond; Marshalls; Sports Authority; Burlington Coat Factory, and its new concept store, Totally For Kids, will be among the major tenants, a spokeswoman for the Mills Corp. said.
A spokesman for J.C. Penney Co., which the developer said would be a major tenant, said the firm was considering the mall for a catalog outlet, but had not yet signed a lease. Spokesmen for the other tenants cited by the developer could not be reached.
According to the Mills spokeswoman, Ontario Mills Mall is expected to do sales of about $300 per square foot.
Mills currently operates four such “super-regional outlet malls,” defined as properties containing manufacturer outlets, off-pricers and single-category chains, such as Bed, Bath and Beyond.
The existing properties are Potomac Mills Mall, located outside Washington; Franklin Mills in Philadelphia; Sawgrass Mills near Fort Lauderdale, and Gurnee Mills in suburban Chicago. Ontario Mills is the company’s first development on the West Coast.
About 2.1 million people live within a 20-mile radius of the Ontario Mills site, but the spokeswoman said the location was chosen for its proximity to Los Angeles.
“The scale and scope of Ontario Mills is being built to attract a market up to 100 miles away on a regular basis,” she said. “We feel there will be a strong attraction for the Los Angeles visitor.”
The spokeswoman said the Ontario Mills property will be fully enclosed, with upscale fixtures, hardwood floors and a variety of restaurants.
On the average, Mills’ outlet malls handle about 16 million visitors per year, the spokeswoman said.

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