Chesterfield could have two outlet malls in the Valley after an announcement Thursday that a second, larger outlet is underway on property abutting Rombach's pumpkin farm on Olive Street Road.
Spirit of St. Louis Outlets mall is planned for a 131-acre property on the south side of Highway 40/64, not far from the bridge crossing the Missouri River—on the Chesterfield side. The outlet would use 55 acres.
Developer Stephen Coslik, CEO of Woodmont Outlets, said the $85 million project would generate $22.3 million in sales tax revenue a year—much of that going to Chesterfield.
"This is an outlet that St. Louis currently does not have," Coslik said Thursday during an announcement at Chesterfield's Doubletree Hotel on Swingly Road.
Property owner Dean Wolfe said he had gathered several properties and zoning approvals from the city since 2005 in anticipation of just such development. Wolfe is a 33-year veteran of the real estate division of May Department Stores that owned Famous-Barr stores.
Wolfe said changes to the roads in the area were also part of the deal. Olive Street Road would become five lanes in part, and then seven lanes at a new interchange that would lead into the outlet mall.
Architect Ross Adams said the mall design was in the "racetrack" style and not a strip mall. In other words, stores would be on both sides of the shopper walking through it.
There would also be a food area of the mall, since some customers would be driving from farther away than just Chesterfield, Adams said.
Rental agent Lisa Wagner, of EW+B Development, described the location of the outlet mall as a "respectful distance" from Chesterfield Mall. It is six miles away. She said the outlets mall was simply an addition to shopping in the area, not to the exclusion of Chesterfield Mall.
Developer Coslik said the St. Louis area was selected because of its demographics (income, age and interests are examples) and was an untapped market when it came to outlet stores. Chesterfield, he said, was on "this side" of the Missouri River yet close enough for St. Charles County shoppers to frequent. Highway 40/64 was another plus, he said, in terms of convenient access to potential shoppers.
"The site is shovel ready, Coslik said. "The community has welcomed us, and will be a partner."
It was unclear Thursday whether Chesterfield or the county had provided any tax breaks in the deal.
Wolfe said the property was protected by a 500-year flood levee and was not in a flood plain.
The Rombach farm that abutts the outlets property has a photo display and marker showing an estimated 12-foot high water level from 1993 flooding at the farm.
Chip Rombach, who runs the farm, said Thursday he knew about the proposed development next door, but the outlets building was set farther toward the highway side of the site, near a cement plant.
"They've been talking about this for several years," Rombach said. He expressed no concern about the project. His farm rents some land from Wolfe to grow soybeans. Wolfe said that lease would likely not be renewed.
The Monarch Levee District has worked to secure the area since the 1990s floods.
Read about other outlet mall proposed for a 59-acre plot east of Boone's Crossing.