Yesterday, Lake and Main published a post as a follow-on to a State newspaper article reporting that “a Boston-based retail developer has called off plans to build a 75-store, 300,000-square–foot outlet mall in Lexington ” in 2017. L&M’s research revealed that no one in Lexington County government was aware of any such plans and, in fact, there never was any serious intent for such a development.
Hance Jones of Carolinas Retail Partners, who represents the landowner, spoke with L&M today and clarified the situation.
Mr. Jones said that New England Development (NED) contacted his office concerning the 67 acre, $10 million tract “sometime within the last year.” At no point did New England Development inform Carolinas Retail Partners (CRP) of the intention of the initial inquiry. That is, CRP was not told that NED wanted to build an outlet mall on the site. Likewise, the developer gave no reason “a few months ago” when it advised CRP that it was no longer interested in acquiring the property.
As for why NED advertised the 2017 opening of “Outlets of Columbia,” Lake and Main has requested an explanation from Deborah Black, Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at New England Development. At posting time, no response has been received to an email sent (and received) yesterday.
Essentially, this was/is a non-story for The State. However, given the latest hospitality tax cat fight in the Town of Lexington and the sales tax war that is about to erupt in Lexington County (again), an item like this can be disruptive to county residents.