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SIMPSONVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- It will bring well known brand name stores to Shelby County, and local leaders hope it will mean further economic growth for the mostly rural county.
The heavy equipment has arrived and site clearing is underway in Simpsonville for a new 80-store outlet mall. Work on clearing the land has been underway for several weeks.
The outlet mall will be located just south Interstate 64 at exit 28 in Simpsonville. One of the developers of the project is Horizon Group Properties of Michigan. Its CEO, Gary Skoien came to town to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning.
"It is a great location between two great cities, Louisville and Lexington," says Skoien. "It is obviously closer to Louisville because it has a bigger population; it is about as close we can get to Louisville without upsetting the department store that are in major malls."
The outlet mall will be known as the Outlet Shoppes at Louisville. A number of major tenants have signed up including, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Old Navy, and Nike, just to name a few.
"This project represents an $80 million investment in Simpsonville, Kentucky, population 2,484," says Simpsonville city administrator David Eaton.
Local leaders are hoping the new outlet mall will be just the beginning of a stronger local economy. "That is probably going to mean a lot of new growth around the interchange," says Simpsonville Mayor Steve Eden, "hopefully restaurants, hotels and other commercial businesses that benefit the public."
Some local residents opposed the project concerned about out the impact on Shelby County's landscape that includes scenic horse farms. "We've tried to stay within the urban areas of the city," says Mayor Eden, "and trying not to get development too far out in the county, trying to preserve our rural character."
Increased traffic has also been a concern. However, the state is widening nearby roads and adding lanes to the interstate ramps.
Developers promise that the new outlet mall will blend in with the landscape. "The mall will be a little bit of a takeoff of Churchill Downs," says Skoien, "we will have some twin spires that look like Churchill Downs; it is going to be a beautiful facility."
The new outlet mall is expected to be completed and open by late summer of next year.