‘Game-changer.’ Woodbury Common Premium Outlet submits long-awaited expansion plans
Long-awaited expansion plans, including a 200-bed hotel, at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlet in Central Valley are now closer than ever to becoming a reality.
The world-renowned shopping center, owned by Simon Property Group, revealed its newly submitted plans to the Village of Woodbury Planning Board last week. It includes 155,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space, a parking deck with more than 3,000 spaces, a hotel, 21,000-square-feet of retail storage, and enhanced amenities like new crosswalks for shoppers and a children’s play area.
The plans seem to have significant support from local, county and state officials.
“This is such a game-changer,” says Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. “They employ around 5,000 people right now and have been a big part of Orange County staying afloat during the ups and downs of the economy.
Neuhaus says the Woodbury Common Premium Outlet generates roughly $70 million a year in sales tax for the state, county and local municipalities - mostly from shoppers who don’t live in Orange County. The county shares approximately $40 million of that revenue annually with its towns, cities and villages.
“In Orange County, our biggest contributor to keeping county government going is sales tax so that’s why this is such a game-changer,” says Neuhaus. “They are by far the largest generator of sales tax in our county.”
Aside from the economic boost, the impacts on the environment and traffic are issues that some activists say should be considered first when approving the project.
“One of the biggest concerns is traffic post-pandemic,” says Protect Orange County Chair Pramilla Malick. “Traffic on Route 17 has been really burdensome. That really erodes the quality of life and is consistent with the trajectory of the county which seems to be intent upon industrializing.”
Malick says attracting more out-of-area shoppers goes against the rural landscape and lifestyle that residents enjoy.
“Once those resources are gone, they can’t be rebuilt. As an all-inclusive destination, it doesn’t enhance local businesses and it doesn’t support resources that we have and should be preserving,” says Malick.
Officials have a much different take, however, and say the more than 3,000 new construction and retail jobs the expansion is expected to create, along with additional projected sales and hotel tax revenue are a win-win.
Sen. James Skoufis says traffic doesn’t appear to be a concern.
“The next phase of expansion will create both construction and permanent retail jobs while working within the existing footprint of Woodbury Common. I am excited to see this investment in the Hudson Valley and thank Simon for the open communication,” says Skoufis. “Importantly, the project will significantly expand the sales and property tax base in the village, town, and school district without a meaningful increase in traffic.”
Woodbury Mayor Andrew Giacomazza says the village is looking forward to learning more about how the proposal can benefit residents, businesses and the tax base.
Simon declined News 12’s requests for comment.