BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Sunday will mark one year since Tanger Outlets opened in Byron Township.
“It’s just a destination for these people that are coming to Byron Center that never knew Byron Center was here,” said Audrey Nevins-Weiss, the Byron Township supervisor.
Nevins-Weiss says the partnership with Tanger over the past year has been great.
“They have been so accommodating, they want to get involved with the community. If we ask for any type of assistance they are right there at the table with us,” Nevins-Weiss said.
This was not the type of partnership she was expecting to have when Tanger first opened a year ago.
“We have businesses that move in and out, we have ribbon-cutting ceremonies and pretty much that’s it. Tanger’s right there every day asking us what they can do, what they can sponsor,” said Nevins-Weiss.
On opening day in 2015 traffic was a nightmare with a full parking lot at the outlet mall as well as at Byron Center High School, where Tanger was busing people in from. There were concerns from people that lived in the area that traffic would continue to be as bad as it was opening day.
24 Hour News 8 dug into traffic studies and found the only study conducted by the mall along 84th Street since Tanger opened was administered on a Monday in September. That traffic study was conducted just to the west of the entrance of the mall and found that traffic had actually decreased since it was last done in that location on a Tuesday in April 2008.
The traffic study was conducted on 84th Street between Byron Commerce Drive and Pfeiffer Farms Drive and tracked 11,703 vehicles on September 14, 2015. When a study was administered in that same location in 2008, it tracked 15,902 vehicles.
The Byron township supervisor says Tanger has also been a boost to their economy.
“Besides the 900 jobs they brought to the community, people are looking for places to eat and to check out what’s downtown Byron Center so they bring in a nice healthy tax base for the community, which helps offset costs that other residents can take advantage of,” Nevins-Weiss said.
Tanger is hosting an anniversary celebration on Friday and Saturday. It runs from noon until 4 p.m. Friday during which shoppers will be able to win prizes and get complimentary cake, as well as coupons. The next day Tanger is collaborating with the Byron Days Festival to feature music from Trapped on Mars at 7 p.m., followed by a fireworks display sponsored by Buist Electric.