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National Harbor adds $100M Tanger Factory Outlet complex

National Harbor will be adding a $100 million retail outlet as part of a plan by its developers to expand the convention and resort complex into a one-stop shop for visitors.

Tanger Outlets at National Harbor is expected to be home to about 80 outlet designer and name-brand stores in a 350,000 -square-foot center on 40 acres, according to plans announced Monday.

The outlets are just one part of plans by The Peterson Cos., developer of National Harbor, to create a family-friendly attraction at the sprawling complex on the shore of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County.

The 350-acre complex already includes restaurants, retail, office and residential, as well as the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. bought a 15-acre parcel at the site to build a 500-room hotel resort. The National Children’s Museum also announced plans to relocate to National Harbor.

The museum is moving forward on its funding and permit applications to relocate, said Taylor Chess, senior vice president of retail for The Peterson Cos., based in Fairfax, Va. Officials are expected to break ground on the planned 140,000-square-foot facility later this year or next spring.

The museum opened a “Launch Zone” two years ago at National Harbor, a space where children and families can view prototype exhibit concepts and give feedback on what should be included at the new museum.

The Disney hotel, planned to be a standalone resort hotel with family-centered entertainment, is still moving forward, but Disney’s plans and timeline are still unknown, Chess said.

In addition to the Gaylord and the planned Disney hotel, the area also has an Aloft Washington National Harbor hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites National Harbor, Westin National Harbor and Wyndham Vacation Resorts at National Harbor.

Also under way are townhomes costing about $500,000 at a development called Potomac Overlook. The site plan calls for about 50 homes, which are under construction, Chess said.

A 350-apartment unit community is planned to break ground the last quarter of this year or first quarter of 2012, across from the National Harbor’s Wyndham hotel. The joint venture between Greenbelt-based The Bozzuto Group and The Peterson Cos. will also include 25,000 square feet of street-level retail space.

National Harbor’s high visibility and access to major highways was part of the decision to build an outlet center there, said Steven B. Tanger, CEO of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers in a statement.

“It just fit our strategy for an outlet center,” said Mona J. Walsh, a spokeswoman for Tanger Factory Outlets. “Usually our threshold in developing a project is visibility. … The complex has that going for it.”

The outlet center is expected to create more than 400 construction jobs and about 900 full-time and part-time jobs within the county.

“It is critically important that we create jobs for our residents and expand our commercial tax base,” said Scott L. Peterson, a spokesman for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III. “As well as create diverse, high-quality retail opportunities for our residents and visitors.”

While no leases have been announced for the project, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers has relationships with retailers such as Saks Inc.’s Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Nike Inc., Gap Inc., Brooks Brothers, Tommy Hilfiger Group, Under Armour Inc. and J. Crew Inc.

“The community has been screaming for upscale retail,” Chess said. “We’re very excited. It’s located in a market that’s totally underserved by quality retail.”

The project will be co-owned by The Peterson Cos. and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers. The parties expect to break ground late this year, assuming that at least 50 percent of Phase I of the project will be pre-leased, according to the companies. The grand opening is expected about 12 to 15 months after construction starts.

Tanger Factory Outlets, based in Greensboro, N.C., operates 32 centers across the U.S. The National Harbor center will be the first in Maryland, but the company operates an outlet center in Rehoboth, Del.