Traffic is major concern at new Grand Prairie outlet mall

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 14 at 5:11 PM

Paragon Outlets

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GRAND PRAIRIE — Grand Prairie is about to become a prime shopping destination, where you'll be able to save big bucks on the biggest labels.

But neighbors of the new Paragon Outlets shopping center at the intersection of Interstate 20 and Highway 360 are weary of what else the shops will bring.

Workers are racing around the clock, putting in the finishing touches, gearing up for the first customers on Thursday.

"To be honest, I really can't wait," said Adesuwa Imade, who lives less than a mile away.

More than 100,000 shoppers are expected to share that excitement this weekend. Imade already has a traffic game plan. "Probably get my friends to carpool, or we can walk or jog there," she said.

Traffic will be a challenge from the highway to the mall.

"We have had extensive meetings with the City of Grand Prairie, with the Texas Department of Transportation," said Paragon Outlets spokeswoman Karen Fluharty. "We have traffic wavers, we have police, we have a complete traffic plan, and it will access all the four entrances and exits."

A dozen extra officers from Grand Prairie police will help Paragon employees with security and traffic control.

As for parking, police suspect the site's 2,276 parking spots won't be enough, and 1,500 overflow spaces have been secured.

Paragon has already notified its employees that they will park off-site and be shuttled in.

For Mindy Mahoney, it's all too much trouble. She'll be staying away from her new retail neighbor for a few days.

"I'm probably going to to give it a couple of weeks because it is tax-free weekend," she said. "And then I will go in the middle of the week."

Paragon Outlets fast facts:

  • More than 1,000 people were employed to build the mall
  • The project led to 1,700 permanent jobs
  • Up to $3.5 million will be added to Grand Prairie's tax revenues
  • The mall opens to public for the first time at 10 a.m. Thursday
  • Grand opening weekend is Friday, August 17 through Monday, August 20
  • Shops will stay open until midnight this Friday and Saturday

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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