Atlanta-based company finalizes purchase of Outlets at Vicksburg

Published 10:56 am Friday, January 10, 2020

It’s official. The Outlets at Vicksburg have a new owner, are under new management and have a new name, Vicksburg Commons.

The new ownership company, BRC Vicksburg, LLC, is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based real estate investment company Blue Ridge Captial. On its website, the company says it “specializes in retail centers, but also considers other turn-around or opportunistic real estate investments, offering the potential for value enhancement.”

In a release Friday, the company said “the primary vision for Vicksburg Commons is to create a unique shopping experience with traditional national, regional, and local retail tenants as well as restaurants & office tenants. The property was originally developed as a pure Retail Outlet Center with only national tenants. BRC intends to expand the range of potential tenants and uses to compliment the current tenants, Billy’s Italian Restaurant, Rocky Mountain Chocolate, Kay Jewelers, Claire’s, Hanes Brands, The Children’s Place and Famous Footwear.”

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“Today is a celebration for this community,” said Steve Patrick, Vice President of Leasing and Property Management for Blue Ridge Capital. “This property has a lot of history, nostalgia, and economic impact, and today, we see an opportunity to set it in a new direction for the future, breathing new life into the center.

“We are already talking with several retail tenants who are not in the Vicksburg market but should be in our opinion. We will certainly be reaching out to the local community as well seeking entrepreneurs who are looking to create a new business, expand, downsize, or relocate”

The formal announcement of the sale was welcome news to local economic development officials.

“The Economic Development Partnership is excited to see Blue Ridge Capital invest in our community. We have previously discussed with them ideas and ways to work together with our community to support a new direction for the outlet retail area that fits the needs of present and future shoppers,” Pablo Diaz, President & CEO of the Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce, said. “Retail continues to change and creative and innovative approaches are important to turn that retail section of town into a very successful enterprise. We look forward to working with them on making their investment in Vicksburg a success.”

Patrick also said the construction of the South Frontage Road expansion will be a plus to recruiting and retaining retail partners.

“The extension of South Frontage Road will have a tremendous positive impact on Vicksburg Commons, and we are excited to see the amount of road construction progress that has occurred in the first 30 days,” he said. “We know the transformation of the property will not happen overnight, but we will be focused on leasing up the center which will create new jobs and have a positive economic impact for the Vicksburg community.”

The news of the Outlets being for sale came last June. Over the next few months, there were rumblings of serious interest, but it was not until December when city and economic officials began hinting a deal was close.

During a December meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said it was his understanding the Outlets had sold, but other city and economic leaders pulled those comments back, saying a deal had not yet been finalized.

The 97,000-plus-square-foot property on Clay Street, built in 1995, has had issues in recent years with a number of long-term retail partners closing and leaving. Recently, two more tenants — The Kitchen Collection and Dressbarn — closed.

Later in December, the Gap Outlet, a long-standing anchor store at the center announced it would be closing at the end of January. But the space where the Gap currently sits and the space next to it are not part of this purchase. They instead are owned by a group called Outlets 2, which includes Margaret Gilmer among its investors.

Gilmer said her group is working to find a retailer to take over the space where the Gap is currently.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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