“We knew that the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk would attract tourists, but we also wanted to engage local shoppers,” says General Manager Frank Quinn. “We decided to install a play area near the food court and it has been very well received. I see kids on it before we open and at hours that are probably past their bedtime. Everyone’s thrilled.”
In 2012, The Howard Hughes Corporation announced plans to completely transform and revitalize the former Riverwalk Marketplace. Located right on the Mississippi River and accessible by car, boat or foot, the storied location had been a tourist stop for years, but locals were asking for more retail options.
According to Quinn, developing the property into an urban shopping destination offered many opportunities to provide unique retail and entertainment selections.
“Traditionally, outlets are located in suburban areas because retailers don’t want their full-price stores to face the internal competition,” explains Quinn. “But there were no brands in downtown New Orleans that would preclude opening an outlet center, so this was an ideal location for the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk.”
Until this development, The Howard Hughes Corporation had never installed play areas in their properties. Quinn says that “it was great to work with PLAYTIME on this custom play area,” explaining that PLAYTIME even sent designers and installers to the site early in development to study access points and any installation challenges.
The soft playground boasts a Louisiana theme complete with a large cypress tree, clams, crabs, crawfish, a mother and baby alligator and pelican.
“We have been very pleased with the product and we really enjoyed working with PLAYTIME,” says Quinn. “I would recommend them to any destinations that are thinking about installing a play area.”
In addition to being the nation’s first outlet in a downtown setting, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is also the first location in the region for a number of tenants, including Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio, Coach Men’s Factory Store and Tommy Bahama Outlet. Joining Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio as an anchor are Coach/Coach Men’s Factory Store and Forever 21. Some beloved brands are also returning to the center including Café du Monde, Chico’s Outlet, Fat Tuesday, Gap Factory Store, Loft Outlet, Mardi Gras Masquerade and The Fudgery. Other popular retailers bringing additional style options to area fashionistas in the “Big Easy” include GUESS Factory Store, The PUMA Store, Charlotte Russe, Lucky Brand, Hartstrings Kids Apparel Center and Kenneth Cole.