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Outlet owner optimistic

Thu., Nov. 8, 2007, midnight

POST FALLS – An owner of the Post Falls Outlets, formerly Post Falls Factory Outlets, said he hopes the sprawling retail center will enjoy a bump in business from the up to 2 million shoppers annually expected at the neighboring Cabela’s store, opening tomorrow.

Located on the opposite side of Interstate 90 from Cabela’s, the outlet stores are mostly vacant. Of the total 180,000-square feet of retail mall space, only 50,000 square feet is being leased by about 12 tenants.

Rick Cordes, owner of Cordes Commercial of Walnut Creek, Calif., partnered with Gary Patterson to buy the center in 2005.

“We bought this center knowing it had a fairly recent history of decline, mismanagement, the decline of the Canadian (shopper) and the Wal-Mart competition plaguing the area,” Cordes said.

“And we knew it was going to be a long wait before something would happen. So frankly, we focused our energy on other centers that are more dynamic,” he said, adding his company also owns Oregon’s highly successful Bend Factory Stores and recently purchased the Broadmore Factory Outlet Mall in the Tri-Cities, which like Post Falls, is less than half occupied.

Cordes thinks the tide is turning and remains optimistic about the mall’s potential.

Post Falls Outlets, he said, are “the best and least expensive prime freeway commercial space in the region.”

The center’s desirable location, and flexible, well-built retail space makes it appealing to a wide range of tenants.

Cordes has retained NAI Black, a regional real estate services company, to be the mall’s leasing agent.

“There are aggressively pitching the mall,” he said. “We’re extremely motivated to make deals with the right tenants to create some momentum here.”

Cordes believes the market is ripe for consumer electronics, home furnishings, home improvement, discount apparel and general merchandise stores.

In the meantime, “Cabela’s will help us tremendously as we grow out our retail base. They draw from hundreds of miles,” Cordes said.

“We look at (the mall) like farm land. We knew it was the right acquisition. We still believe in the area – more now than when we acquired the mall. We know (success) will happen based on industry trends and how the market will grow.

“We’re excited about landing our first tenants to really kick this thing off,” Cordes said.

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