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Penn Square Mall
Penn Square Mall has been part of Oklahoma City’s retail landscape since it was constructed as an outdoor shopping center in 1960. While its ownership has changed over the years – Simon Property Group acquired the mall in 2002 – Penn Square Mall is still a leader in upscale regional shopping and is currently the largest retail property in the state of Oklahoma.
What role does Oklahoma City play in Penn Square Mall’s success? According to Robert Alexander, senior vice president of leasing for Simon, Oklahoma City’s economic environment has set the scene for Penn Square’s growth.
“[Oklahoma City] is the largest retail market in Oklahoma,” Alexander said. “We view this as a booming market; it is a growing market. We have seen some incredible sales growth here. When we purchased the mall in 2002, the sales per square foot were approximately $400 per square foot. It has climbed almost $300 per square foot since we purchased the mall in 2002.”
Alexander works to recruit high-end retail to Penn Square Mall’s growing list of stores in Oklahoma City, a city that he views as an extension of the Dallas retail market.
“Many national retailers, particularly some of the top-tier luxury retailers, certainly don’t have Oklahoma on their hit list, and our job is to convince them that it should be,” he said. “We find a lot of interest once the tenants realize what the sales per square foot coming out of Oklahoma City are. It’s been such a great success story, that I guess, in some respects, it sells itself.”
Oklahoma City’s retail market has allowed Penn Square Mall to thrive as one of Simon’s best portfolio assets. Penn Square’s steady growth enabled Simon to invest $78 million in their 2013 renovation.
“In this part of the country, this is one of the best malls that we have in our portfolio,” Alexander said. “This mall produces sales per square foot higher than some of the very top regional malls in the DFW market. We’ve seen growth in sales every year that we have owned the mall. It is a great market for us.”