Developer eyes makeover with VF Outlet purchase

By Douglas McCulloch | May 17, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch The VF Outlet building on Faunce Corner Road.

A developer has purchased the Vanity Fair Outlet building amid a changing landscape on Faunce Corner Road.

New Bedford-based Stanley Street Holdings, LLC, headed by Paul Downey, is the new owner of the 375 Faunce Corner Road building. It houses outlets for brand names including Van Heusen, Dressbarn, Lee Wrangler, and Nautica, in addition to Vanity Fair.

“This project is an exciting opportunity to take a Dartmouth landmark that has served countless families over many years and repurpose the building to a multi-use building,” Downey said in a press release.

The new owner will keep the VF Outlet store in place, according to Elizabeth Isherwood, of Moore and Isherwood Communications and spokesperson for Downey. Owners of smaller stores are in the process of negotiating their leases, she said.

Downey will pursue a mixed-use model, maintaining retail space while redeveloping other portions of the building for use as offices or medical facilities.

It’s an effort to tap into a transformation of Faunce Corner Road, which in recent years has attracted a large cluster of medical facilities, Isherwood said. It is also home to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s law school campus and an apartment complex.

“That whole area is really built up now. It’s really changed,” Isherwood said.

Working with an architect, Downey also plans a facelift for the aging building and parking lot. According to town assessment records, the 189,354 square-foot building was constructed in 1974. It originally opened as a Kay Windsor dress factory before Vanity Fair bought it in the 1980s, Isherwood said.

“It’s a really tired looking building. He’s looking to bring it up to 2017 standards,” Isherwood explained.

In a statement, Senior Director of Real Estate for VF Outlet Richard Maloof said after more than 25 years of ownership, the decision to sell the building was to “align with our strategy to invest our resources in the areas that best position VF Outlet to meet our business objectives and meet the needs of our customers.”

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