'Transformation' complete as Aurora outlets open 30 stores
The first shoppers have found the first bargains inside 30 new and expanded stores included in a major addition to Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora.
New stores opened at 10 a.m. as part of a $110 million project that also features an outdoor plaza with a bright blue pond, art installations, guest services area, two restaurants and 2,200 additional parking spaces.
"This is a beginning of a transformation of this whole area," said state Rep. Linda Chapa La Via of Aurora.
Aurora officials lauded the development for the 800 construction jobs it created, the 300 permanent retail positions it will support and the shopping opportunities it creates.
But visitors such as Cathryn Augustine of St. Charles eagerly waited to be the first inside new shops.
Augustine watched employees at the new Ugg Australia boot and shoe store launch the location with a ribbon-cutting, then stepped inside to shop for boots she'll need for cold winter walks to class when she heads to college.
"I want new UGGs so I figured I'd go to the Ugg outlet," she said. "I'm going to DePaul so I figure I'll need lots of warm stuff."
Other stores that opened Thursday include Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Clarins luxury skin care, Robert Graham clothing, Abercrombie & Fitch Outlet, The Limited Outlet, Old Navy Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger Kids and Vince apparel.
Stores gaining larger spaces in the 250,000-square-foot expansion include Michael Kors, Nike Factory Store, Vera Bradley and Under Armour.
Work continues to find new tenants for about 20 spaces in the 50-store expansion, officials with owners Simon Premium Outlets said Thursday. But construction of the buildings is complete.
New stores are located east of the existing outlet mall at the northeast corner of I-88 and Farnsworth Road, where the facility opened a decade ago.