Mall operators Simon Property Group and Macerich are restarting work on a large outlet mall in the city of Carson after years of litigation with the city over environmental remediation work.
Simon reached an agreement with the city of Carson and the Carson Reclamation Authority to restart development on the 40-acre site this year, the firm announced on Wednesday.
Simon and Macerich announced plans in 2018 to build the 400,000-square-foot outlet along the 405 freeway, with opening initially slated for the fall of 2021.
The joint venture put the plan on in January of 2020, as the firms tried to settle financial and contractual disputes with the city. In May, the firms sued the city of Carson for $80 million, claiming the city’s reclamation authority — which was created to oversee remediation work on the site — had mismanaged funds.
“The defendants not only intentionally concealed their funding deficit from [Simon and Macerich], but in fact continued on the same, doomed course,” the firms’ complaint said.
“Never once did the city or the Carson Reclamation Authority share the truth, that the estimated cost to complete the remediation was increasing at an alarming rate and they were running out of money.”
A judge dismissed the suit in March of 2021, saying the firms could not allege negligence or that the defendants dealt with Simon Property and Macerich in an unfair manner.
“[The joint venture] now has a decision to make: to perform its duties under the contract and develop the outlet mall or market the property jointly with the Carson Reclamation Authority and allow for a new developer to step in,” Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes said in a statement when the suit was dismissed.
The recent agreement between the city of Carson, Simon and Macerich will allow the firms to open the outlet in 2024, Simon said in its release. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Simon is moving forward with three other outlet developments across the country. In New York, the company is adding 160,000 square feet of shops and amenities and two new hotels to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
In Nashville, the company is planning to build a 300,000-square-foot outlet, with construction slated to start in 2023. Simon is also resuming construction on a 330,000-square-foot outlet mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this year.