VERO BEACH SET FOR TRANSFORMATION
By Duke Ratliff, VRN Managing Editor
Vero Beach Outlets is in the midst of a multi-million-dollar renovation project, starting with a 25,000-square-foot Design Within Reach Outlet set to open in early 2019.
The project is designed to upgrade the center’s exterior, while also creating a sense of place.
“Right now, the center has a fortress-type feel,” said Scott Bryant, managing director, The Simpson Organization. “We want to remove that feeling and provide a sense of welcome arrival. We’ll work on some architectural features to freshen up the property and we’ll do some work on the towers. Then we’ll work on the food component.”
The Simpson Organization purchased Vero Beach Outlets in 2017.
Bryant added that a centralized location for food-and-beverage will take about a year to build, while the entire project is expected to take about two years. Bryant said the center does not expect to have problems with acquiring municipal approvals for the project as the company “has already met with the county and they’re very receptive.”
The opening of the Design Within Reach Outlet continues Vero Beach’s notable emphasis on home furnishings. The center, located in Florida’s affluent Treasure Coast region, already has the largest Restoration Hardware Outlet (over 31,000 square feet) south of Atlanta. Vero Beach also has a Williams-Sonoma Outlet along with a Williams-Sonoma Home Outlet and Kitchen Collection.
Additional brands at Vero Beach Outlets are Adidas, Bass, Calvin Klein, Columbia, francesca’s, J. Crew and Nike.
“Home furnishings is a differentiator in the marketplace,” said Peter Edelmann, partner at EB Development, which leads the leasing for the center. “The homegoods offering, which has been building for the last couple of years, really creates a destination.”
At the same time, the Treasure Coast marketplace “is growing rapidly,” Edelmann said. “By what we’re doing at Vero Beach Outlets, we’re creating a local community gathering type of shopping experience. We’re essentially taking the positioning of what the enclosed mall used to be, but giving it outdoor, Florida style.”
By differentiating the center’s offerings while also making it a gathering place, Vero Beach Outlets becomes an “experience,” according to its marketers.
“What we’re doing here is going back to what the outlet fundamentals were 20 years ago—we’re creating a destination,” said Karen Fluharty, partner, Strategy+Style Marketing. “We’re coming full circle with the merchandising of Vero Beach Outlet where it’s going to be a statewide destination because of the home furnishings offering. Whether you’re building a new home in Miami, or you’re along the Treasure Coast or in Orlando, Vero Beach Outlets is once again worth the trip.”