Demolition begins at Tanger Outlets
West Branch, Mi 48661
WEST BRANCH — Crews began demolishing the Polo Ralph Lauren store at Tanger Outlet Center Thursday, a week after the roof of the building collapsed, forcing the mall to close.
Demolition was expected to take seven to 10 days according to Kim Dane, assistant vice president of field operations for Tanger Outlets. The mall remained closed Thursday.
“Right now, we are currently temporarily closed,” Dane said. “We evaluate it daily, and we can provide more information next week.”
While rumors have floated around the community regarding the condition of the rest of the facility, Dane said she could only confirm damage in the Polo Ralph Lauren and Hanes Brands stores, both of which are scheduled for demolition.
“The only two stores that I have information on where there was any damage would be the Polo space and the Hanes space,” she said.
Crews continued Thursday to remove snow from the roof over the rest of the stores.
Dane said a cause of the collapse had not yet been determined.
“Our structural engineer has not provided us with any findings as of yet,” she said.
As for the employees that have been displaced due to the closure of the outlets, Dane said each store has its own policies and procedures in place to deal with the closure.
“Some managers have reported to us that they have been asked to report to other cities and they are working and attending meetings,” she said. “Our tenants have been tremendously supportive of our requests. We commend them for their cooperation.”
Tanger Outlet Center in West Branch opened in February 1991. The Polo store was the first to open at that time, according to General Manager Vicki Seltz Barnes. She said the mall was opened in four separate phases.
Dane said Tanger officials appreciate the support of their customers.
“We’re very appreciative of our shoppers’ concerns,” she said. “We want them to visit our website for updates, and we are working and taking every step to ensure the safety of the shopping center.”