Perryville Outlet Center officially closes
Eagles, Panthers set to face off on gridiron Owner in talks with potential buyer
— After a more than 25-year existence during which its stores dropped from 45 to just four, the Perryville Outlet Center has officially closed.
The beleaguered shopping center on Heather Lane off Route 222 closed Saturday, Mary Ann Skilling, town planner for Perryville,
told the mayor and commissioners at the town meeting on Tuesday.
“And it’s potentially being sold,” she added.
But Peter Mathieson, asset manager for The Shops at Perryville LLC, said nothing has been settled yet.
“We are in discussions with a potential buyer,” he said Wednesday. “It’s highest and best use is in the process of being determined.”
The Shops at Perryville LLC purchased the property in 2007 for about $7.4 million, according to state land records.
The outlet center had been operating for 26 years and, in the beginning, was at full capacity with 45 stores including popular brands such as Bass Shoes, Nike, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Mikasa, Dress Barn, Rue 21 and Famous Footwear.
As vacancies increased through the years, however, the owner kicked off a round of renovations in 2014, updating the public restrooms at the center, erecting a large tent to create a
check-in area for passengers arriving by tour bus, and repairing the sidewalks and parking lot. Ten vacant storefronts were leased to one company that year as well, which planned to sublet them to other stores and businesses.
The outlets began receiving bus tours in 2006, bringing in at its peak about 500 buses a month, according to past reports. Asian visitors were a common sight with bilingual signs also being found throughout the facility.
As the economy waned over the past few years though, a variety of shops came and went from the outlets, from salons to restaurants, resale stores to specialty shops. Nike, Dress Barn, Van Huesen and Leggs, which were all original tenants when the outlet center opened, closed at the end of December 2014 while Jones New York left in May 2015. In August 2015, the Sears Hometown Store, considered one of the last anchor stores for the outlets due to its name-brand recognition, shut its doors.
As the biggest names began leaving, the outlets’ ownership began talked about a change in direction for the 41-acre parcel, including a potential change in zoning to open up new possibilities.
Perryville is in the process of updating its list of enterprise zone properties to include the property, which is zoned highway commercial. Once approved, any developer who uses the site for such uses as light industrial, warehouses, distribution or manufacturing could get property tax benefits from both the town and Cecil County.
“The property has a very important and strategic location,” Mathieson said. “It’s deployment will be a good thing for everybody.”
A sign listing the Perryville Outlet’s former stores overlooks a deserted parking lot after the outlets officially closed on Saturday.