Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Town Monday: Outlet Mall

Like much of Livingston County, it was once farm field. Then the buildings sprouted... add water and a mall appears.

Originally dubbed the Kensington Valley Outlet Mall, it is part of the Tanger Outlet chain. It's one of those 'open air' malls-- with the stores forming a ring around the parking lot-- which doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense in Michigan. It get's awful cold and snowy in a Michigan winter. But that seems to be the trend in new malls... I think it's catering to those who'd rather drive to the other end of the mall than walk. And it irritates someone who'd rather walk. Anyway...

The Outlet Mall is at the junction between M-59 and I-96. M-59 terminates at I-96 and there's one of the uglier intersections in the county as the entrance/exit ramps for I-96 East must be crossed to get to Burkhardt road to the south. (So you take the "entrance ramp" and turn off, or coming the other way, cross the entrance ramp to get on the "exit ramp.") The whole intersection was redone to better serve the mall traffic.

Sadly, because the Outlet Mall is so far away from downtown Howell (about 4 miles of nothing between the two) I can't imagine it does much for the city itself. There's a McD's and a few other restaurants nearby. So, I'm guessing most visitors to the mall don't veture downtown.

Another interesting feature of the Outlet Mall is that, well, not all the stores are acutally factory outlets... some are just regular stores. So you may not be getting a "Great Outlet Deal!!" But, hey, it's the thought that counts. And as long as people think they're getting a deal, they tend to buy as if they are.

But there are some great deals to be found there. A nice variety of stores, including a few that appeal to this picky shopper.

There's a great food court in the center of the mall area (inside the ring) and nearby there's a hotel for out-of-towners.

Visit Travis Erwin for more My Town Monday posts.


pattinase (abbott) said...

We got to the stores at Birch Run, in Frankenmuth once every couple years but the price of gas prohibits much of a saving.

debra said...

There are outlet malls in this area--sort of---as well. I really don't care for them---they destroy farmland, and impact on the small businesses.

Travis Erwin said...

We were supposed to get one of these but then they deiced it was too windy here.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

We have a few outlets surrounding New York City and I have been to them but I find I spend more than I planned because I won't be there again for a while . . .sigh.

I do agree that not all the shops are discount and of the ones that are, they "discount" shop has a completely different line of ware.

So, on the whole I stick to local shopping.


Sepiru Chris said...

This seems to fit the theme of my alley, but less action.

Hong Kong lives on shopping. It is a sport, a passion, a hobby, and the overriding business of most.

I'm not a shopper, but I don't think there are factory outlet strip malls here. Most things are reached, by most people, by public transit or by taxi, and most stores are factory outlets anyways.