UPDATE: Phantom Outlet Mall Never Was Coming to Lexington

The State newspaper has reported that a 75-store, 300,000-square-foot outlet mall planned for a site in Lexington County will no longer happen.

Outlet Mall
Site of intended outlet mall. Click for larger image.

The site is about a mile east of the Lexington Town limit on Hwy 1 (Augusta Rd.).  According to The State article, Hance Jones, a broker with Carolinas Retail Partners, said he “hopes another shopping center will consider the site, which is in a fast-growing area of the Midlands. He said he has received some interest for property along U.S. 1.

THE PROBLEMThere were no plans for an outlet mall.

Lake and Main contacted Lexington County Chairman Johnny Jeffcoat about the “loss” of such an economic asset, only to catch him unaware.

Years ago,” said Jeffcoat, “there was a rumor about an outlet mall locating near Lexington.  I have checked with the County and the Town and nobody has any information about a possibility of an outlet mall.”

No plans have been submitted,” he continued, “and nobody has approached the County or Town to even have a conversation about an outlet mall.”

So how is it that New England Development Company can tout the 2017 opening of a “new 300,00 square foot open-air facility in South Carolina’s capital city region [that will] feature approximately 75 of the best names in outlet retail”?

How is it that such a massive project with all of the prerequisite planning, permissions and licensing necessary has never been discussed with anyone in Lexington government?

It may have been that the development company wanted to buy the land for such a purpose, but to promote that it would be completed by 2017 and to advertise “75 of the best names in outlet retail” suggests something afoul.

Was this an attempt by someone to advertise the availability of the land with huge retail potential?

Was it a ploy by the development company to generate interest in the idea of a retail outlet?

Either someone was being nefarious or poor businesspersons.

Lake and Main will try to find out more.

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