New Marana outlet mall is a shopper’s oasis

by NATE KEZER

Tucson Premium Outlets, the new outlet mall located just off the Twin Peaks exit, celebrated their grand opening on Oct. 1.

The celebration included special events and prize giveaways, as well as entertainment. It all started with a ribbon cutting ceremony and keynote speech from the mayor, followed by several features and events that lasted throughout the weekend.

“It was pretty busy,” said Janiece Gracia, the business and training specialist at Old Navy in the new mall location.

“We didn’t have a long line in the morning like we expected, but later in the afternoon we did get really busy.”

The stores included in the mall are Old Navy, Adidas, Dress Barn, Forever 21, Levi’s, Converse, Famous Footwear, Vans and Helzberg Diamonds, just to name a few, with a total of 60 stores currently open.

The facility is owned and anchored by Simon, an international corporation in retail-based real estate ownership, management and development

“We’re so happy to see this partnership here,” said Marana Mayor Ed Honea at the grand opening celebration. “Simon is a world-wide recognized leader in building malls. Now all I have to say is, ‘it’s open.’”

Richard McKeown, the general manager, spoke highly of Premium Outlet’s home in Marana in an email.

“Working with the Town of Marana has been a one of a kind, positive experience,” he said.

“They have been productive and supportive in many areas in order to make this project a reality.  We appreciate their understanding of this project’s significance, not only for the Town of Marana but for the entire Southern Arizona region.”

This mall differs from common indoor malls, like Tucson Mall and Foothills Mall. Marana’s outlet is primarily outdoors, like La Encantada, with courtyards and pathways and stores placed side-by-side.

All of the buildings are constructed in a way that they seem to blend into the local environment. There are countless palm trees located all around the facility, as well as several water misters to help keep the area cool. It creates the illusion of an outdoor shopping oasis.

According to Town of Marana officials, the outlet mall should create approximately 800 new retail jobs. The Mayor also noted that there will be two new hotels built across the street from the new facility.

“The center’s diverse retail offerings are a direct response to shopper preferences and will provide a premier outlet shopping destination for area residents, as well as those visiting the area’s many attractions,” McKeown said in a news release.

Construction of the new mall began in September 2014 and an estimated two million hours were put in to the building.

It will be just a portion of the overall new Marana center, which measures in at 170 acres, according to Tucson News Now.

The two hotels are part of a master plan for an entire shopping center that is planned to have a grocery store, a theater, a fitness center and four auto dealers.

“We look forward to doing a lot better than we did at the Foothills Mall, especially because now we are right of off the freeway,” Gracia said.

Tucson Premium Outlet Mall is located at 6401 W. Marana Center Blvd., just off the Interstate 10 at the Twin Peaks Exit.

The regular hours for the store are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  on Mondays to Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

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North side corridor of the new Marana outlet mall. (Nate Kezar/Aztec Press)

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