Carrie Rengers

Finally, a roundabout answer on the proposed Park City outlet mall

Developer Mike Loveland is no longer planning an outlet mall at the northwest corner of Interstate 135 and 53rd Street North in Park City.
Developer Mike Loveland is no longer planning an outlet mall at the northwest corner of Interstate 135 and 53rd Street North in Park City. File illustration

Developer Mike Loveland hasn't talked about his proposed outlet mall in Park City since the project was announced in 2014 — he wasn't even the one to talk about it then — and we've not had a lot of luck getting him on the phone since then for an update.

So it was fortuitous that we reached Park City administrator Jack Whitson while he was on the other line with Loveland this week.

Whitson relayed the question of the status of the outlet mall, to which Loveland responded that "that thing's been dead for a year now."

The mall was supposed to be at the northwest corner of Interstate 135 and 53rd Street North.

In 2016, a representative with Texas-based Woodmont Co., which has developed other outlet malls, said the project would get started in 2017. No one with Woodmont returned a call for comment.

Whitson says his understanding is the market, combined with Amazon, made potential outlet mall vendors "a little skittish about expanding."

"The market seems like it's starting to pick up again slightly, so I don't know if that will rejuvenate itself back or not," he says of the mall.

"I know he'd love to get back in it," Whitson says of Loveland.

Whitson says Loveland is still working on the apartments he planned as the second phase of development at the former Echo Hills Golf Course property. It looks like those will now be the first phase of development there since the mall isn't happening.

"He's very positive about the apartments," Whitson says.

"He's working on a bunch of other things, but he can't tell me what they are," Whitson says.

He says he's encountering developers who more and more say they've signed nondisclosure agreements.

When Whitson heard that from Loveland, he said, "Well, have you ever heard of Stormy Daniels?"

Though Whitson was joking about the nondisclosure agreement related to the porn star who says she had an affair with the future President Trump, he's serious about getting some bigger retail in Park City.

"We do have a good traffic count up here," he says. "Once we get something up here and people see the market, it'll be easier.

Whitson says all the city needs is one big success to attract other retailers.

"Once they see a big success, then they'll come."

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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