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New Louisville Area Outlet Mall Expected to Boost Simpsonville (Population: 2,500)

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The population of Simpsonville is expected to grow four fold temporarily Thursday when a new outlet mall opens.The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, just off Interstate 64 in Shelby County, is fully leased with 85 new businesses and brings with it a thousand new employees.It officially opens today.The economic impression will be substantial for the town of about 2,500 people, city administrator David Eaton says."You talking about over a thousand new employees with about a $30 million payroll, which is also very important to us," he says. "It's going  have an impact also in terms of other businesses that want to locate in our community.""We've already had one new restaurant go up and another one's being built right now, so it's a major impact."Eaton says the payroll tax boost to the city is not yet known, but he says hopefully it will allow for hiring more police officers and adding city services.The city administrator says the outlet shopping complex may also pave the way for more commercial traffic in downtown Simpsonville.Construction began in May on the Simpsonville property, developed by Illinois-based Horizon Group Properties.The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is Kentucky's first "designer" outlet shopping center. It will include shops from Brooks Brothers, Nike, North Face, Coach, Banana Republic and others, according to a Horizon news release.“The location is right on the interstate—I-64 between Louisville and Lexington," says Gina Slechta, a spokeswoman for Horizon. It’s close to Frankfort and other cities in the market area. It’s just the perfect location.”WFPL's Joseph Lord contributed to this story.