Just in time for the holiday shopping season—and to help remove some of the tarnish from Prince George’s County’s image in commerce– Tanger Outlets is coming to National Harbor.

Shoppers hunting for bargains will get their chance Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. when 85 new stores open up in an area covering 340,000 square feet.

The new shopping venue, according to the company’s website, will include: Calvin Klein, Gap, Halston Heritage, American Eagle Outfitters, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic, Theory, Elie Tahari, Brooks Brothers, Aeropostale, Coach, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, Peter Millar, Diane von Furstenberg, Le Creuset and more.

Developers of the new shopping center had to battle local residents who went to court in an unsuccessful attempt at blocking the Peterson Companies, owner of National Harbor, from bring the national chain specializing in outlet stores for major merchandising brands, from opening in the D.C.-Maryland region.

But a Prince George’s County Circuit judge ruled that halting the project would have a negative economic impact on the county.

The center will enhance the National Harbor, according to its developer.

“The world of retail is constantly evolving and our collaboration with Tanger Outlets will dramatically raise the bar on the outlet shopping experience throughout the region,” said Taylor O. Chess, president of retail for Peterson Companies. “The addition of Tanger Outlets to the diverse experiences available at National Harbor is an important element of Milt Peterson’s vision of a world-class resort destination on the banks of the Potomac.”

There are 43 Tanger Outlet centers in 26 states and in Canada.

Local residents said they feared the impact on transportation and other quality of life issues from increasing the density of use of the county.

But Prince George’s County officials said they welcome the expected surge of people—and shopping dollars– into that part of the county. Officials are preparing for heavy traffic in the Interstate 95-495 area.

“This is a county that has been underserved by major retail. Residents would have to leave the county just for valuable retail. It’s a true milestone in high-end retail opportunity. Citizens in the county are pleased to have it for the first time,” David Iannucci, senior economic development advisor to County Executive Rushern C. Baker III told the AFRO.

A commercial surge will also help overcome the county’s reputation as a crime center, said Scott Peterson, a Baker press secretary. “We also are trying to rebrand our reputation with businesses, which was terrible,” he said.

Courtney Jacobs

AFRO Staff Writer