Englewood Construction’s retail group has begun work on the Chicago market’s first Ports 1961, a luxury apparel retailer, in Rosemont.
“Ports 1961 chose to enter the Chicago area by locating within Fashion Outlets of Chicago,” said William Di Santo, president of Lemont-based Englewood Construction. “The retail world is anxiously awaiting the Aug. 1 opening of this world-class fashion outlet mall in Rosemont. Fashion Outlets of Chicago will be home to more than 120 leading designer and top brand retail stores, and astute retailers like Ports 1961 know the value of having a presence there.”
Englewood is building the 2,162-square-foot store, which marks the third Ports 1961 in the United States, and Santa Monica, Calif.-based Montalbo Architects Inc. is designing the space. Ports 1961 has a location in New York’s trendy meat packing district and a store in the new Livermore Premium Outlets, which opened in late 2012 in the affluent East Bay area of San Francisco.
Founded in 1961, Ports began by offering stylish ready-to-wear apparel to the working independent woman of the day. In the 1970s and 1980s, the company expanded into the UK, and then in the 1990s, Ports was the first western luxury brand to enter the then nascent China market. In 2004, Ports started “Ports 1961″ stores to house the brand’s luxury flagship collection for men and women. Ports 1961 international locations include Montreal, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
“Unlike other retail stores where customers know what to expect when they enter based on their previous experience, this Ports 1961 must deliver its identity and brand image – classic, structured pieces, with a romantic and sometimes ethnic twist – upon initial contact with the customer,” Di Santo said. “We are reinforcing the character and image Ports wants to convey through our attention to detail in the design elements, materials and finishes.”
Also within the 530,000-square-foot Fashion Outlets of Chicago, located just east of Interstate 294 at Balmoral Avenue, Englewood has performed 20,000 square feet of prep work for one of the anchor tenants: Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th.
Englewood has also begun two other retail projects: a 1,509-square-foot build out of a Motherhood Maternity store in Huntington Beach, Calif., and a 1,068-square-foot build out of a Marbles – The Brain Store in the Westfield Old Orchard Mall in Skokie.