The Mississippi state Senate has passed a bill to add "cultural retail" attractions to the definition of a tourism project so an outlet mall being built in Pearl will qualify for about $22 million in sales tax incentive funds.

State Sen. Dean Kirby, R-Pearl, tells The Clarion-Ledger the state will get a lot more than $22 million from the outlet mall.

At 325,000 square feet, the shopping center will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th. To date, 13 other stores have been announced, including nationally known names Nike, J Crew, Under Armour, Chico’s Outlets and Kay Jewelers. With room for up to 80 stores, The Outlets would be the largest outlet shopping center in the state.

Kirby said the outlet mall is expected to attract 700,000 people a year. He said the project will create 1,600 new jobs and 350 construction jobs. Some of the managers’ jobs will pay from $55,000 to $75,000 or higher, he added.

Kirby says the tourism angle comes in a tourist office with information about attractions in Mississippi and in live music performances at the mall.

The Outlets Mall of Mississippi is scheduled to open in November.

Senate Bill 2806 adds the term "cultural retail" to the definition of a tourism project to qualify for the tourism project sales tax incentive fund.

The bill now goes to the House.