Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) has announced that its Chelsea division opened Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets, the sixth Premium Outlet Center(R) in Japan and the second in the Kansai region. The project is located 22 miles north of downtown Kobe and 30 miles northwest of central Osaka. It is accessible via the region's three most heavily traveled major highways - the Chugoku Expressway, the Sanyo Expressway and the Rokko-kita Toll Road. The population within a 30-mile radius is approximately 13 million people.
Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets is situated at the foot of Mt. Rokko in the Seto-Naikai National Park, which receives more than seven million visitors annually. The Arima-onsen hot spring resort, dating to the 8th century, is a major attraction in the region.
The 195,000-ft² first phase of the project opened fully leased to 90 tenants including Adidas, Bally, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Edwin, Etro, Furla, Gap, Gucci, Harrods, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade, Lego, Longchamp, Loro Piana, Nike, Nikon, Oilily, Salvatore Ferragamo, Swatch, Tommy Hilfiger, Tumi, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and more. Approximately 70% of the center has been leased to international brands and the balance to Japanese domestic brands including Beams, Diana, Franc Franc, Indivi by Next Door, Miki House, Tasaki and Tsumori Chisato; also included are eight food court restaurants and one cafe. The project is expandable to approximately 355,000 ft² of GLA.
Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets was developed by Chelsea Japan Co., Ltd., a joint venture of Simon Property Group (40% interest), Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. and Sojitz Corporation (each 30%), and brings the joint venture's operating portfolio to 1.6 million ft² of GLA. Chelsea Japan's other properties are Gotemba Premium Outlets (west of Tokyo), Rinku Premium Outlets (south of Osaka), Sano Premium Outlets (north of Tokyo), Tosu Premium Outlets (south of Fukuoka) and Toki Premium Outlets (northwest of Nagoya). Expansions are underway at Tosu Premium Outlets (late 2007 scheduled opening) and Gotemba Premium Outlets (spring 2008 scheduled opening). A seventh Premium Outlet Center is planned in the Sendai market of northern Honshu Island, with an opening scheduled for the fall of 2008.
Leslie Chao, Chief Executive Officer of Chelsea and chairman of the joint venture, said, "Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets has been strategically located to serve the northern Kansai market on the opposite side of Osaka from Rinku Premium Outlets. With its strong tenant mix and attractive environment, we believe it will become a magnet shopping destination for the many affluent and brand-aware residents of Kobe and the surrounding area."