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Horizon to break ground Tuesday

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Work becomes official with ceremony at 11:30 a.m.

By Todd Martin

The Outlet Shoppes of Louisville officially will break ground in Simpsonville with a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Although work has been moving at a steady rate at the site on the corner of Buck Creek and Veechdale roads, just south of Interstate 64, this will be the final official step before the mall opens in late summer of 2014.

Officials from Horizon Group Properties will join Simpsonville city officials and others for the ceremonial dirt turning, which has been a long time coming for the planned 365,000-square-foot retail center.

After rumors began spreading late in 2011, the developers methodically have moved forward with public hearings and government approval.

Although another retail center proposed by Paragon Outlet was approved and subsequently stalled for the property just east of the site, that has not deterred Horizon.

The mall received first approval from the Triple S Planning Commission last August and then a final OK by the Simpsonville City Commission.

In March Triple S unanimously approved the building plan, the final needed step.

The plan calls for a nearly $80 million development that will cover about 50 acres with nine buildings stretched over 10 tracts. The buildings range in size from 21,000 square feet to more than 75,000 square feet. The mall also was approved for a 1,200 square foot LED sign and a sign facing the interstate up to 80 feet tall, which falls within zoning guidelines.

At the time of final approval, representatives from Horizon said the mall was about 70 percent leased, with those contracts ranging between 5 and 10 years. No names have been announced.

The outlet mall construction is coinciding with the expansion of I-64 and Buck Creek Road and the moving of Veechdale Road to a more southerly route through the mall property.

The Kentucky Department of Transportation is handling those expansions, both of which are scheduled to be completed by next summer. Horizon will handle moving Veechdale Road about a quarter mile south, where it will also become the main entrance for the outlet center. The road will loop the center and continue southeast behind the retail center.

Also still pending is a decision by East Kentucky Power Corporation to construct a new substation to supply the mall’s power. The station would connect via high-voltage lines with a substation near KY 55 in Shelbyville.

The Simpsonville City Commission also has pending two ordinances that would provide Horizon with $360,000 in employment tax incentives and an arrangement to spread $360,000 in sewer tap-on fees through a 5-year period.