Sawgrass Mills Mall Attracts Tourists and Retailers for 25 Years
Tucked in the Everglades among sedges and alligators, lies the second busiest tourist destination in Florida. Sawgrass Mills, an outlet mall, boasting over two million square feet of retail space (the equivalent of 40 soccer fields), is home to more than 500 operating businesses.
Comprised of six large inter-connected interior buildings (or wings) and two open-air properties, The Colonnade Outlets and The Oasis, Sawgrass Mills features recognized retailers, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, and the Nike Factory Store. In fact, Sawgrass Mills offers the largest selection of retailers in one destination in Florida, including the largest Calvin Klein outlet in the Southeastern United States, the top-performing stores in the country for many national chains, and the only Gucci outlet currently in South Florida. Celebrating 25 years in business in August 2015, Sawgrass Mills continues to grow and evolve for shoppers and retailers alike.
Sawgrass Mills is the largest single story mall in the United States. It is also the largest retail real estate asset in Florida, which is owned and operated by Simon Property Group. Although some retailers are full-line shops, nearly 90% of retail stores at Sawgrass Mills sell goods at outlet or value pricing.
Tourists from all over the world, including a sizeable Latin American contingent, many of whom spend their summers in South Florida, visit Sawgrass Mills due to significantly lower prices on designer goods than can be found in their home country. In addition to the brand recognition Sawgrass Mills has generated, much of its success is a result of the operator support provided to retailer lessees by Sawgrass Mills’ dedicated team of leasing, marketing, and property management professionals.
Leasing options include permanent inline stores, short-term inline stores, and corridor RMU (retail merchandising unit) or kiosk units, allowing for both established and emerging retailers to sell products at Sawgrass Mills. Leasing space for international retailers entering the market, joining the over 100 retailers currently operating in common area spaces on RMU’s or kiosks, is possible through the EB-5 investment instrument. The EB-5 program requires an investment of USD $500,000 in the US and employment of 10 full time workers. Interested retailers should be prepared to provide a tax identification number, a business plan, photographs of current retail businesses operated in the US and/or home country, and have access to a CPA and bank that will provide a letter of credit and verify financial resources. In addition, the EB-5 program could be used for multiple locations as Sawgrass Mills has many operators with multiple businesses.
Popular Brazilian restaurant chain Vivenda do Camaraõ (Shrimp House in the US), is opening its third location in the United States at Sawgrass Mills. Sawgrass Mills Vice President & General Manager, Luanne Lenberg, encourages other Brazilian business to consider an RMU or in-line concept at Sawgrass Mills as part of their South Florida or US expansion plans.
“Many people know about Sawgrass Mills as a shopping destination on the consumer side, but we have a huge business-to-business side as well. Our core business is leasing space, as well as operating one of the most successful tourist destinations in the world, hosting tens of millions of shoppers annually,” remarked Ms. Lenberg.