Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

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Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is an outlet center located in Central Valley, New York. The center is part of the Chelsea Premium Outlets group and takes its name from the town in which it is located. Opened in late 1985, expanded in 1993, and again in 1998, the center now has 220 stores occupying more than 800,000 square feet (72,000 m²) and is one of the largest contiguous outlet centers in the world. Due to its size, different areas are color coded to help visitors orient themselves, on weekends trolleys are available to transport shoppers from the parking lots and around the center. Due to its proximity to New York City, Woodbury Common is a major attraction for foreign tourists visiting the region. Japanese tourists are the most common as the mall advertises in Japanese publications with the knowledge that the Japanese market sells the same brands for considerably higher prices. Some stores estimate that 40-50% of their profits come from Japanese tourism. Tour buses and shuttles make daily trips from New York City, the center employs a staff of interpreters, and currency exchange and foreign shipping services are available on site. Guests are greeted in several languages including Japanese, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Local economic impact
Orange County officials sometimes refer to Woodbury Common as the county's cash cow as the sales tax collected on the clothing and footwear sold at the center, even after recent reductions by the state, provides a significant portion of the county's revenue. The center is also a significant part of the local property tax base, particularly for the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District. However, it was also believed by many county residents to account for what was, until recently, a dearth of quality shopping opportunities on the west side of the Hudson as opposed to those available across the river, in southern Dutchess County. Retailers, according to this theory, were not willing to compete with a large outlet mall for visitors. They also believed that Woodbury Common saturated the upscale-shopping market in the county (Orange County's other two malls of note, the Galleria at Crystal Run and the Newburgh Mall, are geared to more downscale shoppers). So residents looking for upscale shopping long visited the Palisades Center in Nyack, Danbury Fair Mall in Connecticut or the various malls in New Jersey.

The center is located on Route 32 just north of Route 17 and due west of Exit 16 on the New York State Thruway ( Interstate 87). A shuttle bus also runs from the mall to the nearby Harriman station on Metro North's Port Jervis Line.

The downside of the revenue is the traffic generated by the mall, particularly on major shopping days. Black Friday 2001 in particular was remembered for protracted snarling of not just the expressways leading to Woodbury Common but the local roads as well. Some motorists were trapped on the mall's internal roads for hours. Woodbury town officials and residents were extremely upset and pressed state police and Premium Outlets' parent company, Chelsea Property Group, for a solution for future years as they said the company had been unresponsive to such concerns in the past. The following Memorial Day, state troopers, Woodbury police and mall officials tested a new plan whereby they viewed the situation from a command center and made decisions jointly. However, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in 2006 also led to some legendary snarling, since bad weather abated just in time for back-to-school sales and roads backed up: U.S. Route 6 was bumper-to-bumper all the way to Palisades Interstate Parkway and the Thruway was backed up 15 miles (24 km) north to Newburgh. Officials called on the state to build a Route 32 exit ramp that lets southbound drivers reach the Thruway without turning left and blocking traffic. It was reported afterwards that New York's Department of Transportation had accelerated the process of designing such a connection. Heavy mall-related traffic is more than just an inconvenience to Woodbury residents, since as the name "Central Valley" implies, the mall is at one end of a lengthy valley between the Hudson Highlands and Harriman State Park on one side and Schunemunk Mountain on the other. Vehicle emissions thus tend to lower air quality. Many Woodbury residents feel the Mall has brought increased crime, traffic and pollution but little else to the town. On Black Friday 2007, Woodbury Common held its second annual Midnight Madness attracting many people. Traffic at one time was held up for 10 miles (16 km) on the New York State Thruway.

Rumors: Possible Dome Structure in 2019
There have been several rumors relating to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets building a dome structure that would encompass the entire mall and the surrounding roads. This structure would be free from rain/sleet/snow (a continuous naturally occurring problem in outdoor malls) and have a lighting system similar to those in baseball stadiums for their night games. The complex would also then be able to be open 24/7 which is the current thought process on the future of the mall. Although it is expected to cost over $300 Million USD, the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets would receive additional revenue from its new transition to a 24 hour shopping center.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com