It's big and beautiful, with more than 100 brand-name outlet stores covering 400,000 square feet.
It's primped and "Palm Beachy,'' with thousands of trees and shrubs that make the new Palm Beach Outlets look as much like a park as a shopping mall.
And starting today, it's open.
For the budget-conscious fashionistas — especially those in Palm Beach County that used to have to trek to Sawgrass Mills for their name-brand steals — the arrival of Palm Beach Outlets has been a long time coming. The retail center is just east of Interstate 95 along Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, on the grounds of the defunct Palm Beach Mall, an enclosed mall closed four years ago.
"We saw this area as a donut," said Jim Roberts, general manager at the Palm Beach Outlets. "The northern part had great shopping outlets in Orlando, the south had Sawgrass Mills [50 miles away in Sunrise].
"There was a big hole in the donut."
New England Development and Eastern Real Estate, the Massachusetts-based team behind Palm Beach Outlets, is now filling that hole with 400,000 square feet of stores now and an additional 200,000 square feet of stores set to open this fall. The next portion will be anchored by a Whole Foods Market and Nordstrom Rack.
"We are opening brand-name outlet stores," Roberts said. "You walk through and you'll known them all. Cole Haan, Under Armour, Nautica, J.Crew. It goes on and on."
Among the dozens more: DKNY, Steve Madden and The Children's Place Outlet. There's a lot to choose from.
"I'm very excited," Jewel Figueras, a lifestyle blogger who lives in Miramar, said earlier this week. "It will have a good mix of stores. I'm hoping it does well."
Shops on her must-visit list: Jones New York, White House|Black Market and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, she said.
Figueras lives about 20 minutes from Sawgrass Mills, the mammoth outlet mall in Sunrise, but says she's willing to drive an hour north to West Palm Beach for deals. She believes the new mall — now the largest in South Florida after Sawgrass Mills — will be easier to navigate and have greater selections.
Plus, it's a new adventure for fun.
"I have friends who live north of Palm Beach," the 50-year-old Figueras said. "We can meet there [at the Palm Beach Outlets] and have a day of shopping and lunch."
In the food court, Tobu' Oriental Eatery, Subway and Sbarro will be open Friday and several other eateries will be opening shortly thereafter. Two restaurants — BJ's Brewhouse and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers — will open by the summer, outlet officials said.
The retail world is driven by two types of consumers, the high-end luxury shoppers and the value-seeking consumers who had to tighten their budgets during the recession, according to Steven Kirn, executive director at the David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research at the University of Florida.
He said Palm Beach Outlets will feed into the demand for brand names at affordable prices. It's also positioned far enough away from other outlet centers to lure its own share of customers, Kirn said.
Yet the bulk of business will likely come more from local shoppers than tourists, Kirn added.
The center has an open, Florida feel to it. Once fully complete, there will be more than 1,000 trees and palms and more than 30,000 shrubs and plants. It now has 50-foot tall shade canopies designed to light up at night, with more than 160,000 different colors.
"They will try to make it real Palm Beachy," Kirn said. "It looks like it's going to be an attractive place with style."