Tanger Takes on Nashville

Tanger Outlets on Friday will open a 290,000-square-foot outlet center in Nashville, which is among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.

Significantly, Tanger Outlets Nashville is the first outlet center and one of the few major shopping centers in the U.S. to break ground and deliver to the market since 2019.

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But the new outlet center is also unique because of its “transformational, consumer-informed design,” according to Stephen Yalof, president and chief executive officer of Tanger Outlets.

“We are using sophisticated customer data resources and coupling that by actually talking with consumers to inform the future of shopping,” Yalof told WWD.

Stephen Yalof
Stephen Yalof

One key takeway from the data and field research, Yalof said, is that customers are looking for better food and beverage options. “In a typical outlet center about 2 percent of the square footage is for food and beverage. But in our new center, food and beverage occupies 7 percent of the space, which is about 20,000 square feet. In addition to the great national food and beverage brands that we have, like Shake Shack and Crumbl Cookies, customers are looking for great local brands so we have Prince’s Hot Chicken, TailGate brewery for beer on tap and pizza and Red Bicycle for gourmet coffee,” Yalof said, citing a few local examples.

Among the big-name brands with outlets at the center are Adidas, Coach, Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, Old Navy, Sunglass Hut, Nike, Michael Kors, Levi’s, Gap and Banana Republic.

Rather than being situated in a traditional food court setting, Tanger Nashville’s food and beverage tenants are spread throughout the center, intentionally. “Food is really more of a destination. We like to put food in areas that push customers to walk around the shopping center,” Yalof said.

“The other thing consumers are looking for is better amenities,” Yalof added. “We have created more community space,” including “The Green,” a half-acre park in the middle of the shopping center, with a bandshell called The Pavilion, which will have a year-round program of shows and entertainment by local musicians, singers, artists and performers. “We also have a gigantic digital television for fashion shows, sporting events and more,” Yalof noted.

Working with a company called Muros, an art activation agency, Tanger developed 13 large murals to enhance the facades of the property, some unique to retailers at the center, like Under Armour and Ralph Lauren. There is also a 624-square-foot living wall in the shape of a guitar. “It’s a celebration of the arts in Nashville,” Yalof said.

One of 13 murals at Tanger Outlets Nashville.
One of 13 murals at Tanger Outlets Nashville.

Tanger’s heightened focus on amenities and food and beverage in Nashville will be reflected in other properties that are part of the real estate investment trust’s portfolio of 37 outlet centers. For example, at the Tanger outlet center in Savannah, Ga., more than 100,000 square feet of food, beverage and other amenities are being added, bringing the total square footage up to about 500,000. Tanger’s Charleston, N.C., outlet center is also being augmented with new amenities in response to what shoppers want, Yalof said. Amenities, including food and beverage offerings, draw more shoppers and keeps them on the premises for longer periods, leading to better business.

Tanger Nashville will be up against several big retail destinations in the metro area, either oriented to traditional retail or outlets. Among them The Mall at Green Hills, Opry Mills, The Arcade Nashville, Hill Center Green Hills, Nashville West Shopping Center and the Hickory Plaza Shopping Center.

Still, odds are that Tanger Nashville will be busy. The Nashville metropolitan area, with a population of about 2 million, has long been a center for music and a mecca for tourism, but has also evolved into a tech hub and a magnet for world-class hotels and music streaming companies. Amazon, Spotify, Cracker Barrel, Dollar General, Asurian and Live Nation have a major presence in Nashville.

“The city is growing at a rate of 98 people a day,” Yalof said. “People are moving to Tennessee.”

Tanger Nashville secured leases for 96.5 percent of its retail and restaurant space. “That’s unheard of. That’s probably 15 percent better than most center openings.” Yalof also said no temporary deals were needed, unlike other centers which typically opening with those just to fill space.

Of the 60 outlets and restaurants at Tanger Nashville, nearly one quarter of the assortment are brands that are either new to Tanger’s portfolio or first to the outlet channel, including several digitally native brands and iconic Nashville eateries.

Tanger Nashville occupies seven buildings covering 32 acres on the 300-acre Century Farms mixed use, master-planned development, 10 miles southeast of downtown Nashville, which is home to the Nashville Soccer Club, will also house the Tiger Woods Popstroke putting course and dining experience.

“We wouldn’t put a shovel in the ground unless it was 60 percent committed,” Yalof said. The groundbreaking was in May 2022.

“Tanger Nashville was designed by a team inspired to transform what we have come to expect from a shopping center experience,” Yalof said. “I believe we have achieved that vision and created a destination that will serve our guests’ needs and expectations for years to come.”

Tanger Outlets Nashville: Fast Facts

  • Sixty retail and dining offerings across 290,000 square feet

  • More than 1,000 retail jobs and 700 construction jobs created

  • An Alveole honeybee hive, home to 30,000 bees

  • 12 EV charging stations

  • 2,800 rooftop solar panels

  • Approximately 1,800 steps required to shop the center

  • Seventy-eight benches and 40 Adirondack chairs

  • Five pet watering stations

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