The Origin and Growth of Woodbury Common Mall
Nestled in Central Valley, Woodbury, NY, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets has been a cornerstone of the community since its opening in 1985. Over the years, it has undergone multiple expansions, the most significant in 1993 and 1998.
The numerous expansions have elevated it to one of the world’s largest contiguous outlet centers, featuring approximately 250 stores and over 800,000 square feet of retail area.
Simon Property Group owns the outlet and is synonymous with premium shopping experiences. The architectural layout of the center is designed to be user-friendly, with different areas color-coded to help visitors navigate the sprawling complex.
For locals, the outlet has been more than just a shopping destination; it’s a landmark that has evolved with the community. The color-coded areas, for instance, have become a part of local lore—a unique characteristic that sets Woodbury Common apart from other shopping centers. It’s where memories are made, from holiday shopping sprees to weekend outings with family and friends.
The Global Attraction
Woodbury Common isn’t just a local treasure; it’s a global attraction. Its proximity to New York City makes it a magnet for international tourists. Initially, Japanese tourists were the most frequent visitors, but in recent years, Chinese tourists have overtaken them.
The center offers a range of amenities to cater to its international clients. Daily tour buses and shuttles operate from New York City, offering tourists an easy way to enjoy a full day of shopping at the outlet. Additionally, the center employs a staff of interpreters and offers currency exchange and foreign shipping services.
For locals, this international appeal adds a cosmopolitan flair to the community. It’s common to hear multiple languages spoken as one walks through the outlet, giving the area a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. Moreover, the influx of tourists positively impacts local businesses, including restaurants and hotels, which benefit from the increased footfall.
Woodbury Common is often called Orange County’s cash cow, and for good reason. The sales tax collected on clothing and footwear sold at the center contributes significantly to the county’s revenue. Even after recent reductions by the state, the center remains a vital part of the local economy.
The outlet also plays a crucial role in the local property tax base, benefiting the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District. This financial contribution has a ripple effect, supporting public services and infrastructure projects that help the entire community.
For those who live in the area, the economic contributions of Woodbury Common are appreciable. It’s not just a place to shop; it’s an institution that supports the community in multiple ways, from generating revenue to creating jobs. The center is also a significant employer, offering a range of opportunities from retail to management positions.
Accessibility and Transportation
Reaching Woodbury Common couldn’t be easier, given its prime location along Route 32, slightly north of Route 17 and directly west of Exit 16 on the New York State Thruway. For those who prefer public transportation, a weekend-only shuttle bus runs from the nearby Harriman station on Metro North’s Port Jervis Line.
Additionally, Short Line, part of Coach USA, provides regular service to the outlet, making it accessible for those who don’t own a car. This ease of access is a boon for locals who want to make a quick trip to the outlet for retail therapy or catch up with friends over coffee.
However, it’s worth noting that the convenience comes with a downside—traffic congestion, especially during significant shopping days. Despite the occasional traffic jam, the multiple transportation options make Woodbury Common convenient.
The Traffic Quandary
While Woodbury Common is a shopper’s paradise, it’s not without its challenges—traffic being the most notable. Major shopping days like Black Friday have led to significant congestion, not just on the expressways leading to the outlet but also on local roads. In some instances, motorists have been trapped on the mall’s internal roads for hours.
Local authorities and Simon Property Group have taken steps to address these issues. Collaborative efforts have been made to improve traffic management, especially during peak shopping. Plans have been implemented, and local police and state troopers monitor the situation from a command center, making real-time decisions to alleviate congestion.
For locals, this is a small price to pay for the convenience and amenities that Woodbury Common offers. And let’s face it: traffic is a minor inconvenience when weighed against the economic benefits and the sheer variety of shopping and dining options available.
Keeping up with the times, Woodbury Common continues to innovate. The latest news indicates that Simon Property Group plans to add 160,000 square feet and two hotels to the complex.
These developments are exciting not just for shoppers but also for the community. The addition of hotels will likely attract more tourists, boosting local businesses even further. This means that Woodbury Common isn’t only maintaining its current status; it’s proactively laying out plans for future growth and development.
For locals, this is a sign that Woodbury Common will continue to be a vital part of the community. It’s not just a shopping center; it’s a living, evolving entity that grows with the times and with the people who call this area home.
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets is more than just a shopping destination; it’s a community landmark that has grown and evolved. Its economic contributions, international appeal, and continuous expansion plans are vital to the local landscape.
For those who live in and around Central Valley, Woodbury Common is not just a place to shop; it’s a place that enriches the community in countless ways.