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Ontario Mills mall gets city funds to help with improvements [Updated]

October 4, 2010 |  2:39 pm

Ontario Mills, the state’s largest outlet mall, will soon see the addition of a large sporting goods store and the expansion of two other retailers as part of a multimillion-dollar upgrade of the shopping center.

Improvements to the 1.5 million-square-foot mall will be funded in part by a $4.5-million grant from Ontario’s public redevelopment agency. The owner of the mall, Simon Property Group Inc., did not disclose how much it will spend on the construction, set to begin in January.Getprev

Forever 21, the cheap-chic fashion chain that started as a series of small boutiques, will quadruple its space at the mall to 54,000 square feet. Burlington Coat Factory will expand from 80,000 square feet to 112,000 square feet.

Sports Authority, one of the country’s largest sporting goods chains, will come to the mall in a 50,000-square-foot store to be built near the food court.

Improvements will include additional entrances to the mall from parking lots 3 and 4, plus more parking spaces and landscaping. Work is expected to be completed in a few months.

“This is a great example of a public-private collaboration that will create a positive chain reaction to benefit the community,” said Paul Leon, mayor of Ontario.

Ontario Mills opened in 1996 as a super-regional off-price mall that combined retail and entertainment uses. It has more than 200 stores and a 30-screen cinema complex. It attracts millions of visitors a year, including busloads of tourists.

Developer Mills Corp., which built the mall and other U.S. mega centers, was acquired by Simon and Farrallon Capital Management in 2007 in a $1.64-billion takeover.

-- Roger Vincent

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

[For the record: An earlier version of this post misidentified Ontario's mayor as Paul Goodman. The correct name is Paul Leon.]