HUNTSVILLE – One of the country’s leading operators in outlet and open-air shopping took a look at Huntsville’s booming market and decided to buy in.
Tanger, headquartered in Greensboro in the Tar Heel State, announced Friday it has purchased Bridge Street Town Center. Tanger, the third owner of the property, acquired the shopping destination for $193.5 million.
In a news release, the company stated it targeted the 825,000‑square-foot, open-air lifestyle center because it’s in “one of the fastest growing markets in the country. The center comprises over 80 retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues and serves as the dominant shopping destination in the market.’’
“We continue to leverage the strength of our retail operating, leasing and marketing platforms to create value, both in the outlet channel and through selective investments in other complementary open-air retail destinations,’’ Stephen Yalof, president and CEO of Tanger, said. “The addition of Bridge Street Town Centre is a natural extension of our capabilities and consistent with our long-term strategy of investing in dominant open-air retail centers in markets which benefit from outsized residential and tourism growth.’’
Mayor Tommy Battle said Tanger executives met with Huntsville administrators and assured them Bridge Street would continue in its original and current open-air, lifestyle retail format.
“We asked to meet with them to see what their intentions were,’’ Battle said. “They dropped the word Outlet from their name to just Tanger because they said, ‘We’re not just primarily an outlet anymore, we’re also lifestyles and we’re going to continue with the lifestyle-type facility.’’
According to the company, Bridge Street, Tanger’s first open-air lifestyle center, is over 93 percent occupied and has “a dynamic tenant mix that includes the market’s only Apple Store and top apparel, footwear and beauty brands including Lululemon, Sephora, Lovesac, Dry Goods, Victoria’s Secret, Athleta, Anthropologie, Altar’d State, and Ulta, as well as several larger format retailers including Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Old Navy, H&M, and Belk.’’
Tanger continued that the “center offers over two dozen restaurants, from national favorites like Cheesecake Factory, Texas de Brazil, and Bravo! Italian Kitchen to regional and local offerings, serving the significant dedicated and transient employee and residential populations. Additionally, the center boasts entertainment venues such as Main Event and the 14-screen Cinemark Bridge Street and XD, the top producing theater in the state.’’
The acquisition of Bridge Street is Tanger’s 39th property. It is the company’s third center addition this quarter, following the grand opening of Tanger Nashville in October and the acquisition of Asheville Outlets in early November.
“Part of what we’ve seen in the success of Huntsville is having groups having confidence in our economy to put money into our retail here,’’ Battle said. “And they have confidence in our future success, and they’ll be part of our future success.’’