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VALLEY AND VENTURA COUNTY BUSINESS | VENTURA COUNTY
REVIEW / LEO SMITH

Camarillo Outlet Center to Begin Next Expansion

March 18, 1997|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Those Camarillo Premium Outlets folks are at it again.

As they have done several times before, officials of the factory outlet center are set to break ground this month on further expansion.

The additional 75,000 square feet and about 20 stores, which represent the completion of the Phase 3 Fashion Court, will bring the complex to 350,000 square feet and slightly more than 100 stores.

Outlet manager Terri Cameron said tenant negotiations are underway, and the new shops should be in place by next fall. After that, there's a Phase 4 waiting in the wings, a development that would add another 25,000 square feet to the complex.

"We'll add a few more designer names and some uses that are currently missing," Cameron said. "It will be nice to finalize it and be a complete center."

Not that the center is struggling as it is.

Cameron estimated that about 100,000 shoppers visit the center monthly. And officials at Chelsea GCA Realty, which owns and operates the Ventura Boulevard center, reported a 40% increase in the number of cars passing over the center's threshold in the fourth quarter of 1996 compared with the same period in 1995.

For its entire portfolio of 18 outlet centers, Chelsea GCA reported an increase in sales from an average of $313 per square foot for calendar year 1995 to $345 per square foot for 1996.

Sales figures were unavailable for the Camarillo stores, but Michele Rothstein, vice president of marketing for Chelsea GCA, said the Camarillo complex played a large role in the big year for the New Jersey-based developer.

"A 40% increase is one of the highest counts that we've got," said Rothstein, whose company includes among its centers the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, just outside Palm Springs. "Camarillo is just a real jewel that continues to live up to what we expected of it."

As the center has grown, Rothstein said, so has its customer base.

The developer, she said, has been promoting its outlet centers to the tourist market abroad, which has helped to increase the customer count.

"Over the past six months, the center has gotten to be known as a stop for international visitors," she said.

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