If you’ve taken the 5 freeway through San Clemente, you’ve seen the large construction project underway around the Avenida Pico exit. That project is the highly-anticipated San Clemente outlet mall.
It’s actually not just an outlet mall. It will have traditional retail stores, too. And restaurants! In total, there will be about 120 stores, including big-name brands like Nike, Calvin Klein, H&M, and Guess, and 12 restaurants/dining locations. The grand opening is planned for November. Some 45 stores and restaurants will be operational by that time, with the rest rolling out later this year and in 2016. The mall will include amenities that the Carlsbad outlets and Fashion Island do not offer, like a VIP loyalty shopper program with a members-only lounge, valet parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, a baggage check, and stroller/wheelchair rentals.
As a local resident, I have one concern: Traffic. As a realtor, I’m curious to see how this affects the local housing market. No matter what, it’s going to be a beautiful establishment. The center is part of the 249-acre Marblehead Coastal development that consists of 313 homes, the mall, hiking trails, parks, and a habitat preserve. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Sea Summit trails yet, I highly recommend it. They are right next to the mall and overlook the ocean.
Personally, I’m cautiously (yet optimistically) looking forward to the completion of this project. I think it will be good for the area, overall. Construction alone has created 1,000 jobs, and they’re predicting that 1,000 more permanent jobs will be created when the center opens. Many experts are saying there will be an increase in domestic and international tourism in 2016, and this center will definitely make San Clemente an even more desirable destination.
It remains to be seen how much freeway congestion the new mall creates. This section of the I-5 is already very packed, with 219,000 cars traveling along past the mall every day. Thankfully, they are making some improvements to the freeway (more on that next week).
The San Clemente outlet mall by the numbers:
- 500,000: Square feet in total, the initial opening will be more than 325,000 square feet
- 120: Stores total
- 12: Restaurants and dining locations
- 3,339: Total parking spaces
- 420: Length of foot bridge crossing the canyon