ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Part of the St. Augustine Outlets could soon close. The property’s owner wants to redevelop the existing property into a mixed-used space on 31 acres of land.
This would affect the outlets on the northeast side of I-95 and state road 16 not the strip-mall style Premium Outlets on the southbound side.
Commissioner Henry Dean said the outlets weren’t what they used to be, so he understands why the owner wants to re-develop. It’s not a done deal yet, the St. Johns County Commission has to approve it and certain guidelines must be met.
New York City-based mall owner Lightstone wants to close the outlets, which feature mostly indoor shopping, to develop a mixed-use space called the St. Augustine Center.
The application to the St. Johns County Growth Management Department shows the mall will be converted into 350 multifamily units along with up to 99,500 square feet of retail and commercial space as well as 300,000 square feet of light industrial development. There’s also a proposed movie theater and 400 hotel rooms could be added.
Saint Augustine Outlet owner wants to re-develop the property into a mixed use space. Stores would close and 350 multi family units would be added, up to 99,500 sq ft of retail/commercial space, proposed movie theater and 400 hotel rooms could be added. @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/LKmGevzpre— Brittany Muller (@BrittMullerNews) June 11, 2021
The application said the development could be up to three stories.
“From an economic standpoint I think it would be a big boost,” said Dean.
Dean said when considering a proposal like this, he questions the area’s explosive growth.
“We have to look at the impact is going to be on our roads, on our schools on our police fire protection in our library and our parks,” said Dean.
Right now, there are 35 tenants at the outlet and 75 total retail spaces.
The application said, “the outlet mall is aging and has been struggling to retain tenants for some time.” Dean said there’s no question that the parking lot is empty and isn’t bringing in the revenue it once was.
“We have a good project here, a great project I’d say, but what impact is it going to have on the surrounding community and the residents who have lived there two years or five years or 10 years?” said Dean.
The documents make no mention of demolishing the outlets, rather converting the space.
Dean also told News4Jax the Commission wants to be sure other aspects like infrastructure are being renovated at the same time to keep up with all of the people moving into the area.
Lightstone shared a statement to our news partners, The Jacksonville Daily Record, and said it didn’t have a timeline for closing the mall.
“As the retail industry evolves we are exploring re-imagining the St. Augustine Outlets site for the 21st century,” a Lightstone spokesperson told the Daily Record. “The redevelopment of St. Augustine Outlets into a vibrant mix of residential, retail, dining and medical uses will revitalize this high-profile location at the doorstep of St. Augustine and spur economic development throughout St. Johns County.”