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In Review: The Outlets at San Clemente

GreenTree Properties February 26, 2016

There was a lot of buzz surrounding the outlets here in San Clemente, and in the months since their opening, the buzz hasn’t died down. We’ve been a few times and were happy with the experience.
The outlets on their own are beautiful, they’re set near the shores of San Clemente and are true to the local architecture that San Clemente is famous for. The spaces are wide, the parking is vast, and it’s a pretty easy in and a pretty easy out, not to mention the ocean views.
Those of us living in town often would have to travel a bit of way to do any shopping at major retail stores, but the added convenience of having those retail stores is as much a benefit as it is impacted. Opponents of the malls recall San Clemente’s origins, as a quaint beach town set in the southernmost of Orange County.
When we look at the economics of the malls, there is no denying the potential for revenue in San Clemente from sales tax. The city has cited projects that would be funded by tax revenue, including the upkeep of Vista Hermosa Sports Park.
The outlets have more than 70 retail locations throughout phase one sitting on 52 acres. We went to three and made purchases at all three we visited. Every shop we visited had no lines, no crowds, and was hosting some type of sale. We went on a Tuesday.
While the argument could be made that the shops are gaining momentum, and once the restaurants open, we’ll see more traffic being pulled from Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano, we can’t help wondering how much steady tax revenue could the shops generate, even if everyone in San Clemente made a purchase once a day. Just a few days ago, the San Clemente City Manager's office released the expected sales tax revenue to be about $300,000, down from the projected $835,000. Don’t be alarmed, the forecast was based on the outlets opening in June and didn’t officially open until November.
When Ruby’s opens, we’ll be some of the first to take the family down for some burgers and a walk around. Until then, we’re curious how things will shape up, and what others are saying about the outlets in our prized town of San Clemente.
Have some opinions about the Outlet at San Clemente? We’d love to hear them!

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