BY DOUGLAS TALLMAN
Clarksburg Premium Outlets opens Thursday with more than 70 stores along I-270.
“I think it’s a destination,” said Marilyn Balcombe, president of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce. Balcombe said the outlet is expected to draw shoppers from across Montgomery County as well as from around the state.
The outlet also will serve as a source of employment, she said. The site has generated 500 construction jobs and 800 full-time and part-time positions, said a spokeswoman for Simon Premium Outlets Development, the outlet’s owner.
“The jobs are retail jobs, but they’re important jobs,” Balcombe said. They provide opportunities for teens and young adults, as well as part-time employment. The shopping center will create sales tax, and income tax from the employees’ income, she said.
“For every job, it’s money in somebody’s pocket, and they’re going to go out and spend it,” she said.
On the weekend, the outlet will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. On Sunday, the outlet will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Beginning Monday, the outlet will be open weekly from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
In addition to the 70 stores that will open Thursday, 19 more stores are expected in the coming months, the company said.
Thursday’s events include music and giveaways. County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council member Craig Rice, whose district includes Clarksburg, are scheduled to speak, as are state officials and Simon executives.
Live entertainment continues throughout the weekend. On Friday, children can trick or treat.
At one time, the property was envisioned as an extension of the county’s life sciences corridor.
“We have a lot of density in the life sciences center of Gaithersburg and Germantown,” Balcombe said. “I don’t think it’s a ‘this’ or a ‘that’ because of the commercial density in the master plan. We’ll continue to see new high-tech jobs in the corridor.”
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