BYRON TOWNSHIP — As dignitaries broke ground on an $80 million Tanger Outlet Mall south of Grand Rapids, neighbors wondered what it would mean to them.
“I envision fast food, fast food restaurants,” realtor John Pol said, pointing to the duplex he rents out on 84th Street SW, directly across the street from the site of the outlet mall. “If you go to other malls, there’s fast food restaurants all the way around them.”
Thursday, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley was among the dignitaries who gathered under tents for a groundbreaking ceremony, even though crews began turning ground in late July.
The Tanger Outlets on the south side of 84th Street, west of U.S. 131, will include 350,000 square feet of shopping, with 80 stores, including Old Navy, Nike, Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren and more. Scheduled to open next fall, it is expected to bring 1,000 full-time and part-time jobs to the area.
Thursday’s ceremony had just about everything — a marching band, color guard, speeches, a fashion show, gold shovels ad confetti.
“It is a game-changer for Byron Center,” Calley said. “It is a game-changer for the entire prosperity region and for West Michigan and for Michigan as a whole.”
And it’s a game-changer for people right across the street or around the corner.
“We are an engine for economic growth,” Tanger Outlet CEO and President Steve Tanger told 24 Hour News 8. “Over time, in the 46 or 47 centers we’ve built in 27 states, the surrounding land has been developed.”
So far, though, neighbors who spoke to 24 Hour News 8 said they haven’t heard from investors.
“I would think there would be investors that would want to be looking at this property and making me offers, but so far, nothing,” Pol said.
But he’s expecting it. He figures without the mall, he could get $150,000 for the duplex.
“I’m hoping to double it, yeah, double or triple it. Double is realistic, triple is pie in the sky,” Pol said.
Of course, there are no guarantees, especially since the property would need rezoning and there’s a neighborhood right behind it.
Just down the street, Jodi Frisby is hoping for an offer for the home where she has raised three kids.
“If you pay me enough, I envision a Starbucks, a gas station,” Frisby said. “A bank would look great here. You just gotta pay me enough.”
Some of the stores expected to be included in the outlet mall:
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Banana Republic Factory Store
- Brooks Brothers Factory Store
- Calvin Klein
- Express Factory Outlet
- Gap Outlet
- Kay Jewelers Outlet
- Nike Factory Store
- Old Navy Outlet
- Talbots Outlet
- Under Armour