Hundreds of jobs at the mall are still available. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Tenants include such nationally-known retailers and brands as Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Saks, Under Armour, Old Navy and Gap. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
SIMPSONVILLE, KY (WAVE) - From spires to signs to sidewalks, the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass are under roof, but finishing what's billed as Kentucky's first upscale outlet mall, means a lot more than furnishing it.
"We are definitely opening July 31st, said Gina Slechta, Vice President of Marketing for the lead developer, Horizon Group Properties, out of Muskegon, MI. "Right now my crystal ball is telling me that the majority of our stores are going to be open."
HGP will have a "soft-opening" July 30, to benefit the J. Graham Brown Cancer Center. A $50 donation will allow patrons bragging rights as the first shoppers.
"There's a lot of guys looking for a good burger to eat," said Jason Behnke, franchisee for the new Culver's family restaurant going up near one of the entrances.
Behnke's pushing to open by July 14, partly to corral the construction crews as a captive customer base.
"Yesterday I was in the road handing out free samples, so everybody seemed to have a positive reaction, " he said.
Those words-of-mouth, and stomachs, could give Culvers a head-start.
"Any time you can get 93 retailers opening up in the same day, and a lot of those companies aren't here in Kentucky right now, I just want to be a part of it," Behnke said. "We've got a few moving parts including trying to find employees."
The E-word. We don't mean "easy." Horizon Group Properties has held Job Fairs.
"The property has pretty much finished their hiring, but the stores are still doing hiring," Slechta said.
"Typically the number of employees that he hire is around 1200 to 1500."
Add a few hundred spinoff jobs, and the potential exists for more opportunities than Simpsonville has people. Some employers have had their new hires stolen, even before they start. Behnke is re-filling two dozen positions.
"We're doing open interviews from 11-2 Saturday," he said, both hopeful and grinning.
This new store is his second as a franchisee. He won't say how much higher the ante was, compared to his restaurant in Hillview.
"It's the price of doing poker in a good location," he said. "It's something that I own I don't lease, so hopefully, at the end of the day it pays off for my family and me."
Friday, June 27 2014 1:00 PM EDT2014-06-27 17:00:12 GMT
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