GRETNA, NE – Crews are working non-stop ahead of the Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall opening in Gretna. The shopping center officially opens Friday.
“You don't really realize you're in Nebraska when you're out here at Nebraska Crossing, it's got a different feel,” said Marketing Director Jenni Mitten.
According to Mitten, the new mall is modeled after a race track. Shoppers can take a lap in just six minutes. When it opens this weekend, 65 of the 70 retail spaces will be leased.
“We get to see the mall rise from the ground up. All the merchants in the mall are new, and there's a lot of excitement,” said Brooks Brothers Factory Store Regional Director Becky Stefanski.
Stefanski and her team began unpacking their store last week. The newly trained staff is local. Just days from opening, the store is coming together. Stefanski said opening is a milestone for the retailer.
“We’ve been in business since 1818 and we've never had a store in Nebraska, and so this is our first one,” she said.
Brooks Brothers is not the only Nebraska Crossing retailer opening its first store in the state. Mitten said 40 of the mall’s stores have that distinction.
It’s one more reason developers believe the mall will become a shopping destination luring shoppers year round. They say it is also why this outlet mall won’t meet the same fate as the outlets that struggled for years in the very spot along Interstate 80 the new Nebraska Crossing is built on.
“Back when the old center was here there were 40 brands that were in the whole outlet realm. Now there are over 400. So we have a lot more to choose from,” Mitten said.
Mall officials expect heavy traffic in Gretna during the weekend opening, saying the local, county and state authorities are all on standby to help keep the traffic moving.