Years in the making, Tanger Outlets Nashville broke ground on Tuesday morning for a six-building, open-air shopping and dining complex off Interstate 24 in Antioch.
Set to open in the fall of 2023, the outlet center will feature 290,000 square feet of retail and dining space, Nashville’s first open-air outlet retail destination.
“Hello, Nashville – it’s been five years I’ve been waiting to say those words,” said Steven Tanger, founder of Tanger Outlets, during a groundbreaking ceremony at the future outlets site on Tuesday morning.
The project will be the company’s third development in Tennessee, and 37th open-air outlet center nationwide.
“Over 40 years ago, it’s hard to believe a couple of old country boys sat around a table in North Carolina and had a drink. We had no money. Our long-term strategic plan was to try to make it to Saturday,” Tanger said. “Our dream was that we could convince the finest brand names in the world to open their outlet stores together in a shopping center. And you know what? We did it.”
Located in the 330-acre Century Farms development along Interstate 24, Tanger Outlets Nashville will neighbor the new CHS Healthcare operations center, TriStar Century Farms’ freestanding emergency room, multiple residential developments, and a future headquarters site and training center for the Nashville Soccer Club.
The Century Farms site sits within a few miles of the old Hickory Hollow Mall and Southeast Community Center. The Metropolitan Council recently announced plans to purchase and lease part of the mall property to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for a new healthcare facility.
“This was not easy due to COVID – it was a marathon, not a sprint,” said Century Farms developer Bill Oldacre on Tuesday, “but Tanger stayed the course. They stayed positive about Nashville.”
Metro leaders say the development will help move southeast Nashville away from its status as a “food and retail desert.”
“Today is the beginning of a return to the southeast,” said Metro Council Member Joy Styles, whose district includes the development area. “Today we have a groundbreaking for what is going to change us from being a retail and food desert into a place where we are able to live, work and play – and we could not be more excited about it.”
“We’re going to be able to throw on sweatpants and roll 10 minutes and be able to eat and shop – I’m excited about it, because I’m tired of driving 30 minutes to do all of that,” Styles added.
More than 70 brands’ outlets will be housed in the complex, including both local concepts and global brands. During the groundbreaking ceremony, Tanger Outlets CEO Stephen Yalof announced several retail outlets’ commitments to the property, including Michael Kors, Aerie, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, Oakley and Fossil.
“Tanger Outlets Nashville will be our most exciting project yet,” Yalof said. “In the words of the Eagles, this will be our greatest hits, and we’re excited to bring it here to Nashville. It’s just amazing.”
The project is expected to act as an economic driver for southeast Nashville, bringing about 1,800 jobs to the area. A projected 700 construction jobs will be created in developing the site, and a projected 1,100 permanent full and part-time retail and management positions when complete.
“We can drive downtown and see the economic prosperity – what we’re so excited about is that kind of prosperity is coming to this community,” said Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe.
Tanger has also committed to invest back in the community directly through philanthropic partnerships. For its initial partnership, Tanger announced a donation to Friends of Mill Ridge Park.
“Today has been a dream for years,” Styles said. “To be able to look out and see all of your faces to celebrate today what is coming to the southeast is a dream come true.”