Ontario Mills expects to create more than 200 jobs in the employment-deficit Inland Empire as it adds another 10 new retail outlets to one of Southern California's largest mall.
The outlet and value retail shopping center already employs more than 5,000 people in an area where the jobless rate runs more than 13 percent, according to the latest figures from the California Employment Development Department.
Ontario Mills general manager Marc Smith announced Wednesday that the new retailers are part of a significant renovation project that is now under way.
"We feel fortunate to be adding numerous popular name brand retailers in a challenging economic environment," said Smith, adding that Ontario Mills plans to announce even more new store openings in the near future.
By the end of the year, Ontario Mills will welcome such name brand outlets as Esprit, PUMA Outlet, Rockport and Sports Authority.
In addition to the new stores, several popular stores at the mall are expanding their showrooms. Burlington Coat Factory is adding 32,000 square-feet and Forever 21 is more than tripling its store from 13,000 square-feet to 54,000 square-feet.
The expansions mean more merchandise and more jobs.
Ontario Mills is also planning to increase customer amenities as part of the renovation.
This summer, customers stopping at Guest Services will be able to make reservations at local restaurants and find information on area attractions.
Ontario Mills is owned by the Simon Property Group, which is headquartered in Indianapolis. It operates 16 value-oriented retail centers -- all of them near major metropolitan areas.