The Gila River Indian Community officially announced today construction of a 370,000-square-foot premium outlet center next to the Wild Horse Pass Casino & Hotel.
Dale Gutenson, general manager of the Wild Horse Pass Development Authority, said this morning the design of Phoenix Premium Outlets is complete, and the stores should open in March 2013.
He made the announcement at a breakfast held at the Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass by the Pinal Partnership, a coalition of community, business and educational and governmental leaders.
“This is a $70 million project that will be significant in Arizona,” Gutenson said.
He said the design will complement the casino and be “a modern interpretation of what is indigenous” for the Indian community.
The land is being leased to Simon Property Group, Inc. The Indianapolis-based company currently owns or has an interest in 391 malls and retail properties in North America, Europe and Asia.
At the Gila River mall, shoppers will find designer labels and upscale fashions at discounted prices.
Gutenson said the Arizona heat is one of the challenges for an outdoor mall, so there will be a shaded food court outside along with an indoor food court.
He expects 4 million to 5 million shoppers per year and sees opportunities for other retail projects to spin off after the mall is built.
Gutenson said the retail outlets will employ about a 1,000 people.
Mayor Anthony Smith attended the breakfast and said he is excited for the Gila River Indian Community.
He said the new jobs at the mall will have some impact on Maricopa.
“It is not sufficient enough to rely on jobs outside of the city,” he said. “We need to focus on job creation in Maricopa.”
Another project Gutenson announced this morning is Toka Sticks Hotel, which will be located next to the Toka Sticks Golf Club at Power and Williams Field.
The 140-room hotel is expected to open in the fall of 2013.