Perryville Outlets on its way to becoming warehouse site

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The Perryville Outlet Center site may be on its way to becoming a warehouse complex.

The Cecil Whig reported that New York-based SK Realty is expected to close on the sale of the site along Interstate 95 and raze the complex that is now closed.

The plan received approval from the municipality, the Whig reported.

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Warehouses have become a key part of the Cecil County economy, with retailers such as Restoration Hardware, Rite Aid and IKEA opening large complexes. Work is now underway on a massive Amazon.com fulfillment center.

A potential competitor, nearby northern Delaware, offers few “shovel ready” sites that warehouse companies prefer. Sites that are available come with two-year or longer time frames that are the result of New Castle County’s land use codes and procedures.

The outlet complex was popular when it opened in the early 1990s and drew shoppers from the region and I-95 travelers, thanks to high-profile merchants like the Nike factory store, Bass, Jos. A. Bank and others.

However, the outlet complex did not expand as shoppers gravitated to larger centers in locations like Rehoboth Beach, Lancaster, PA, and to the south in Queenstown, MD. The Perryville center closed for good last year.

A similar outlet center on the riverfront in Wilmington also failed to gain traction and is now has offices, service businesses and restaurants.

The opening of the nearby Hollywood Casino near Perryville raised hopes for a time of spillover activity, but appeared to have little impact on nearby businesses. An area around the casino, which is a short distance away from the outlets remains undeveloped.

The national stores eventually departed and the center closed last year as retailers continued to shutter stores that included outlet locations.

Also a factor was the lack of a sales tax in neighboring Delaware and high bridge tolls that have traditionally isolated Cecil County from the rest of the state.

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