Tejon Ranch Co. finds partner for big outlet mall

Tejon Ranch Co. finds partner for big outlet mall
The Outlets at Tejon Ranch, a proposed shopping center south of Bakersfield, is seen in a rendering provided by the Tejon Ranch Co.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Within less than two years, Bakersfield could have a large outlet shopping center in its backyard.

Tejon Ranch Co. announced Tuesday that it has entered into a letter of intent to partner with The Rockefeller Group in development of The Outlets at Tejon Ranch.

The proposed 500,000-square-foot shopping center would be situated at the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 99, with a targeted opening in spring 2014, according to Tejon Ranch Co.

Watch the company's video about the proposed outlet mall >>

The site is a half hour south of Bakersfield and adjacent to an already popular way station with fuel and fast-food restaurants, such as In-N-Out Burger, McDonald's and Starbucks.

"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to expand our partnership with Tejon Ranch Company and to develop what we believe will become the region's destination retail outlet center," said Kevin R. Hackett, president and CEO of The Rockefeller Group, in a news release.

Tejon Ranch Co. called Bakersfield and the southern San Joaquin Valley an "underserved retail market" that's primed for big population and economic growth. The proposed shopping center would also serve the northern communities of Los Angeles County and nearly 80,000 vehicles that travel the I-5 corridor daily, the company said.

No specific stores have been announced for the center, which would be designed in an "upscale California mission ranch" style and include an integrated food court and ample parking.

"... we have every confidence that together, we'll develop one of the country's most successful outlet centers," Robert A. Stine, president and CEO of Tejon Ranch Co., said in a news release.