Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan announced its last group of tenants Wednesday, including Armani and several others appearing in outlet form in Minnesota for the first time.
The shopping center will open Aug. 14 with 105 stores filling 98 percent of its space on Day One.
Retailers that will have outlet stores for the first time in the state include Armani, 7 for All Mankind, Steve Madden, Filson leather goods for men, Vera Bradley and Francesca's Collections. Other newly announced tenants include Ann Taylor, Corningware, Corelle & More, Dressbarn, G.H. Bass & Co., Haggar, Hanes, Le Creuset, the Loft, Nine West and Stride Rite Kids Sperry.
Compared to the sprawling Premium Outlets in Albertville, which runs a shuttle between its two centers, the new mall will feature a contained racetrack design for easier access to all stores. It is less than a half-mile around the perimeter, said Twin Cities Premium Outlets manager Peter Lund.
The Eagan complex, which is a joint venture between Paragon Outlet Partners and Simon Property Group, added a number of features in Eagan to make it state-of-the-art, Lund said. Besides the racetrack design for convenience, the center includes covered walkways, free Wi-Fi and a large food court with outdoor seating and five restaurants.
"It used to be unusual to have a food court in an outlet mall," said Les Morris, director of public relations for Simon. "Albertville didn't have one when it opened."
The new food court — complete with seating for more than 300, a fireplace and lounge furniture — will feature food from Chicken Now, China Max, Green Leaf's Beyond Great Salads and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen.
Snow, snow, go away
The Eagan outlet also is the first U.S. mall to be outfitted with a snow melter that can melt nearly 200 cubic yards of snow per hour, Lund said. The melter will eliminate the huge mounds of snow common around the edges of mall parking lots. It will spray warm water to melt the snow dropped into an underground pit. The water then will flow into the sewer system.
The center also is ahead of the curve by being so close to full-price retail centers such as the Mall of America, which is less than 4 miles away. Most outlet centers have been placed in such exurbs as Albertville, Morris said. He expects that Eagan's proximity to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Interstate 35 will bring plenty of tourists, along with metro visitors.
The 409,000-square-foot center is at the intersection of Hwy. 13 and Hwy. 77 (Cedar Avenue). Previously announced tenants include Saks Off Fifth, J. Crew, Cole Haan, Calvin Klein, Crabtree & Evelyn, Asics, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren and Talbots.
For a complete list of stores go to www.premiumoutlets.com/twincities.