The Outlets Shoppes at Laredo plan
|Location||Laredo, Texas, USA|
|Opening date||1970 (as River Drive Mall)|
March 2017 (as Outlet Shoppes at Laredo)
|Owner||Morgan Stern Realty|
|No. of stores and services||80+|
|Total retail floor area||358,000 sq. ft.|
|No. of floors||3|
The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo was an outlet mall in downtown Laredo, Texas. It was originally a regional 385,000-square-foot (35,800 m2) indoor mall located in the north Rio Grande bank in downtown Laredo, Texas. River Drive Mall was Laredo's main mall from 1970 to the mid 1980s. It was demolished in 2014 was replaced by a new multi-story open-air outlet center to be named The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo which opened in 2015.
The River Drive Mall was built in 1970 making it the first indoor mall in Laredo, followed by Mall del Norte constructed in 1977. The mall was succeeded by Mall Del Norte in the late 1980s as the main mall in the city. Major anchors located at the mall were Frost Bros., JCPenney, and Weiner's. River Drive Mall closed its doors in 2003 due to high vacancy rate.
Morgan Stern Realty bought the property in 2003, renamed it El Portal Center and started renovating it until 2005. It had been planned for Morgan Stern Realty to turn "El Portal Center" into an indoor outlet mall. Their main emphasis would have been outlets stores, restaurants, and entertainment. In 2006, a spokesman for Morgan Stern Realty stated, "Our progress has been impeded primarily on the barrage of negative, national news coverage of Laredo that has depicted the violence in Nuevo Laredo as spilling over to Laredo, while unfair and inaccurate, has nonetheless caused a delay in our factory outlet leasing program." El Portal Center project was never completed and the mall never reopened.
On June 12, 2013 Horizon Group Properties and the City of Laredo announced the development of an outlet center in place of the River Drive Mall. The outlet mall will feature from 80 to 90 outlet stores in a newly planned 3 level open air building. El Portal Center was demolished in 2014 for the new building. The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo opened in 2015. The center opened in May 2017.