Taubman hires GM for Chesterfield outlet mall
By: Carol Enright
As speculation continues regarding whether Chesterfield Valley will really be home to two outlet malls next fall, at least one St. Louisan is betting her career that Taubman Prestige Outlets Chesterfield is the real deal.
On Oct. 9, Taubman Centers officially announced that it hired Colleen O’Neill as general manager of the outlet mall it’s building on the north side of Hwy. 40 east of the Hardee’s Iceplex.
O’Neill resigned as marketing director of Saks Fifth Avenue at Plaza Frontenac to take the job. Prior to that, she held positions at Pace Properties, Dillard’s Department Stores and the St. Louis Galleria. O’Neill is a St. Louis University graduate and served as the assistant director of alumni relations for the university.
Taubman spokeswoman, Karen Mac Donald, called O’Neill “perfect for the position” and said the developer hired O’Neill for her extensive retail experience and her local connections.
“She’s well known in the community. She’s got a lot of experience in terms of working at Dillard’s, as well as at Saks. We’re just thrilled to have her and believe she can bring a lot to the table,” Mac Donald said.
O’Neill officially starts her new job on Nov. 5, but Mac Donald said she will spend two months training at the company’s Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Mich., before returning to St. Louis in February 2013. Mac Donald noted that the new general manager’s training will take place “through the holiday season, which is the perfect time” to learn by fire.
O’Neill’s hire comes about a month after Taubman announced it was accelerating its construction schedule to meet an earlier opening date of Aug. 2, 2013, to take advantage of Missouri’s back-to-school, tax-free weekend. Taubman said it will meet the new opening date by building the mall in two phases. The first phase – approximately 310,000 square feet and 80 stores – will open in August. The remaining 140,000 square feet and 30 to 40 stores will open in the spring of 2014. Since that announcement, passersby have noticed a flurry of activity at the construction site, including building walls that began going up the first week of October.
With just under 10 months to opening, Mac Donald said hiring O’Neill is “another significant milestone in the development of Taubman Prestige Outlets Chesterfield.”