The Outlets at Orange

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The Outlets at Orange
A fanciful water fountain at The Outlets at Orange
LocationOrange, California
Address20 City Boulevard West
Opening dateNovember 19, 1998; 23 years ago (November 19, 1998)
Previous namesThe Block at Orange (1998-2011)
DeveloperThe Mills Corporation
ManagementSimon Property Group
OwnerSimon Property Group (50%)
ArchitectD’Agistino Izzo Quirk
No. of stores and services115 (as of 2022)
No. of anchor tenants8
Total retail floor area866,948 square feet (80,542.1 m2)

The Outlets at Orange (former names The Block at Orange and The City Shopping Center) is an open-air outlet mall in the city of Orange, California in central Orange County developed by The Mills Corporation and now owned by Simon Property Group. The anchor stores are Dave & Buster's, Guitar Center, AMC Theatres, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom Rack, Gap, and Bloomingdale's.


The City[edit]

From April 1970[1] to 1996,[2] the site was home to an enclosed mall called The City Shopping Center, featuring anchor stores J. C. Penney and San Diego-based Walker Scott, which would in 1974 become a May Co. branch.[3] It targeted middle income residents, office workers and visitors to nearby Disneyland. The City Shopping Center was the centerpiece of The City, an edge city mixed-use development; in or just outside the mall were two hotels, several office buildings, two movie theaters (City Center Theatres and UA the Movies), gym, three full-service restaurants and a pizzeria, Pepperoni square (owned by Larrys Pizza in Fullerton) which was sold and became Clubhouse Pizza: Sports and Games, a foreign currency exchange and a post office.[4] The roads around the mall had "City" in their names because they were built as part of that complex.

Only two miles away, the small Santa Ana Fashion Square mall was renamed MainPlace/Santa Ana and vastly expanded, growing from one department store anchor (Bullock's) to three in September 1987 and business at The City started declining rapidly by the start of the 1990s.[5][6] May Company opened a new store at MainPlace in May 1991 and closed its store at The City in July of that year. JCPenney, The City's other major anchor, closed in February 1995. The mall was closed and demolished in late 1996.

Block at Orange[edit]

Mills purchased the site, originally considering converting the City mall to one of their Mills malls named "City Mills," but instead built an outdoor lifestyle center with outlets, restaurants, and entertainment facilities most likely because there was another Mills mall in Southern California (Ontario Mills) already under development. The center's old slogan was The Block at Orange... It Ain't Square. It was The Mills Corporation's first outdoor mall not to have the "Mills" name. The Block officially opened in November 1998.[7]

Ron Jon Surf Shop closed in 2008 and was replaced by Neiman Marcus Last Call. Virgin Megastore, Hilo Hattie and Steve & Barry's closed in 2009. These anchors were replaced with Off Broadway Shoes, H&M, Thrill It Fun Center and Guitar Center. Borders closed in 2011 due to the chain's liquidation, and was replaced by Sports Authority, but Sports Authority at the mall was liquidated along with the rest of the company's stores starting May 18, 2016 due to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Furniture & Beyond briefly occupied the former Sports Authority space but closed less than a year later. The mall has one of the few remaining Vans Skate Parks in the country, as most of the other skateparks closed or were sold to another brand in the early 2000s.

Like other Mills properties, The Block at Orange was acquired by the Simon Property Group in 2007.

Outlets at Orange[edit]

In 2011, The Block at Orange was renamed The Outlets at Orange.[8]

The Outlets at Orange underwent two phases of expansion on the east side of the mall. The first phase included a new Nordstrom Rack store which was completed in 2013. The second phase was completed in 2016 which included five new stores such as Gap Factory Store, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Orange County's first Bloomingdale's Outlet. The second phase was supposed to bring 12 new stores but only 5 came because stores such as Bloomingdale's wanted larger spaces.[9]

Outlets at Orange was, for a long time, the only outlet mall in Orange County with the next nearest outlet malls being Citadel Outlets in Commerce, 23 miles away near Central Los Angeles. The Outlets at San Clemente opened in 2015, and though nine miles further away than Citadel, provided more significant competition as it took away Orange's status as the only outlet mall in Orange County.[10][11]

The former Virgin Megastore was featured in Borat where Borat attempts to kidnap Pamela Anderson.[12]

Anchors and majors[edit]

A corridor walkway at The Outlets

Former anchors and majors[edit]


  1. ^ "$30 Million Shopping Center Set in Orange". Los Angeles Times. February 22, 1970. p. J26. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  2. ^ Johnson, Greg & Wright, Lesley (October 4, 1995). "The City Shopping Center to Be Razed and Replaced : Development: Theaters and restaurants will be a big part of the new $150-million complex, scheduled to open in 1998". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ "Retail Briefs". Women's Wear Daily. Vol. 126, no. 117. June 14, 1973. p. 28. The May Co. of Calif. will open a store in The City, a shopping center in Orange County next Spring. The two level, 160,000-sq.-ft. store will replace a unit operated by Walker Scott of San Diego. Link via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Young, Karen Newell (November 27, 1987). "City Shopping Center in Orange Offers Wide Range of Gift and Specialty Stores". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Galante, Mary Ann (September 3, 1987). "Main Place Adds to Retail Space Race". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (May 22, 1985). "New Name, New Face for Fashion Square". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Garvey, Megan (November 20, 1998). "The Block Gets Off to Rousing Start as Big Crowds Show Up: Entertainment: Huge complex in Orange offering movies, shops, restaurants opens with manageable traffic". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Nguyen, Hang (October 11, 2011). "The Block at Orange changes its name". Orange County Register.
  9. ^ "Outlets at Orange adds 5 more stores in time for Black Friday". Orange County Register. 2016-11-23. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  10. ^ "Outlets at Orange on track to open six stores by Black Friday". Orange County Register. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  11. ^ "12 new stores on the way as Outlets at Orange expansion begins". Orange County Register. 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  12. ^ Bonilla, Justina. "10 Movies Filmed in Orange County". The Frida Cinema.
  13. ^ Nguyen, Hang (August 27, 2011). "Three apparel stores open". The Orange County Register. p. Business 4.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°46′58″N 117°53′35″W / 33.782644°N 117.893076°W / 33.782644; -117.893076