New outlet mall to bring 1,000 jobs to Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — New England Development of Newton, Mass., has selected local construction contractor CDI Contractors, LLC as construction manager of the new 30-acre Outlets at Little Rock project, planned for the Gateway Town Center at the intersection of I-30 and I-430, where site work has begun.

The 325,000-square-foot center will be adjacent to the only Bass Pro Shops store in Arkansas and will include approximately 75 stores.

"We are happy to be a part of such an exciting retail project for the state," said Lloyd Garrison, president and chief executive officer of CDI Contractors. "Site work is already underway, and we'll be working hard over the next year in anticipation of the grand opening."

The placement of building foundations and erection of steel is scheduled to begin by late summer with project completion slated for summer 2015, said Matt Orender, a senior project manager with CDI who will be overseeing the Outlets at Little Rock construction.

Site work will involve the clearing of trees on the land, grading, placement of drainage pipe and utilities and the

connection of these systems to the public mains, and preparation of the pads for nearly 500,000 square feet of buildings and concourses. If laid end to end, the site's drainage pipe alone would be more than three-fourths of a mile long.

In conjunction with the construction of the outlet center, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has planned a project to improve the I-30/I-430 interchange. The first phase of this project includes constructing a new I-430 southbound off-ramp and connection to the frontage road leading to the Gateway Town Center, and relocating the I-30 westbound off-ramp for Otter Creek/Mabelvale West farther to the east of the existing off-ramp.

The Department will take bids on this phase of work on July 23, which should allow the improvements to be complete together with the Outlets' opening.

The Outlets at Little Rock construction will support approximately 900 jobs. Once open, the project will support nearly 1,000 jobs on-site and another 180 indirectly as a result of purchases through the local supply chain to support the project.

The Outlets at Little Rock is expected to generate approximately $100 million in annual retail sales, which will in turn generate $6.5 million in state sales taxes, $1 million in county taxes and $1.5 million in city taxes.

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