Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
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NEWORLEANS- Once the doors opened to the new outlet collection at Riverwalk, people flooded the Spanish Plaza.

More than 75 brand name stores opened its doors to customers who eagerly awaited the renovations to be complete.

Construction took just eleven months at a price of more than $80 million.

The shopping center is the first of its kind in a downtown area and a much needed boost to New Orleans retail industry.

Experts say the city was about 30 percent behind the national average for retail sales.

Louisiana Lt. Gov Jay Dardenne said, 'The ability to go to a mall like this while you are enjoying your time here means a lot more retail dollars for the city and state.'

Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell said, 'There are a lot of great things in the district but this is one that I am proud of. Being able to partner with Howard Hughes and off you all a great shopping experience here in the heart of District B.'

After a runway show, came the rush to catch a deal.

Howard Hughes Co. CEO, David Weinreb said he saw great potential in the Riverwalk and now his vision has come to reality.

'We are so excited to be part of this great city. The Riverwalk has represented an iconic space and to be able to repurpose it into something that is going to create such vitality is something we are excited about.'

We are told more than 80 percent of the people hired are from here in the metro area.

The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk will hold special sales all weekend.

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