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MONROE, OH-Chelsea, the retail outlet center developer that’s a division of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, is about to start construction on the 400,000-sf Cincinnati Premium Outlets here. There will be 120 outlet stores built on this 117-acre site, just off Interstate 75 at the Ohio Highway 63 exit. The project will likely cost more than $100 million to build.

A Chelsea spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com that there are signed leases, as well as negotiations going on now with retailers, but that she cannot announce any names yet. The company, which has 47 outlet centers in 22 states, Japan, Korea and Mexico, usually has tenants such as Crate & Barrel, Calvin Klein and J. Crew. “As an outlet center, we don’t have traditional anchors, and there may not even be an anchor at the property.”

The property is the second Premium Outlet in Ohio, with the Aurora Farms outlet in the Cleveland area. The spokeswoman says Monroe is a good fit with its planned retail layout, and that outlet centers have done well in the weakened economy. “In our past sales quarter, we were up over 5%,” she says. “In this environment people are looking for great deals.”

The company has received approval for a second phase of 100,000 sf, the spokeswoman says, though she would not reveal further details. The first phase should open in summer 2009, she says. The project is next to the 430-acre Vandercar Holdings Inc. planned Corridor 75 distribution park, which should hold up to seven million sf.

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