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Owner of Fashion Outlets looking to expand mall

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Buffalo: Owner of Fashion Outlets looking to expand mall
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The owner of the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls is hoping to expand and is looking to the IDA for help. YNN's Antoinette DelBel has more on the multi-million dollar expansion project.

TOWN OF NIAGARA, N.Y. — If the company that owns the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls has its way, an expansion to the mall would add 50 new stores, making the total number more than 200.

It would also make it one of the largest shopping centers in the country.

"There's a lot of spending potential in Toronto right now that's not captured in New York State. We want to capture that additional by making our center bigger, better, and the fortress outlet center," said Doug Morrow, the vice president of development for Macerich.

Macerich, the company that bought the outlet mall in 2011, submitted its application for the proposed plan to the Town of Niagara's Industrial development agency Wednesday.

The company is asking for tax abatements and tax relief through a PILOT for the $71 million project. It's something the IDA says could be a win-win for the area.

"New business, more people in town, but we're very interested in jobs," said Calvin Richards, the Town of Niagara IDA chairman.

The expansion project is expected to create about 900 construction jobs and roughly 600 retail jobs.

Morrow says most of the expansion will take up the Sabre Park mobile home site right next door to the mall, which he says the company bought last October.

"Those tenants have leases that are valid leases through June - some are through June 2013, some through November 2013,” he said. “We're honoring the leases and we're going to work around them."

A public hearing is scheduled for March 13 so that residents can comment on the proposed project.

Morrow says construction could start as early as June.

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