Taubman, Benderson Break Ground on $315M Shopping Center in Sarasota
By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
The Mall at University Town Center is one step closer to fruition as developers Taubman Centers Inc. and Benderson Development Company LLC broke ground on the $315 million shopping center during a ceremony held on Monday.
The ceremony was attended by community officials including Sharon Hillstrom, Manatee Economic Development Corp.; Mark Huey, Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County; Christine Robinson, Chair of Sarasota County Commission; and Congressman Vern Buchanan. It culminated with a $10,000 donation on behalf of the mall to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County—a non-profit organization dedicated to quality public education for all children.
The Mall at University Town Center will be a state-of-the-art, two-level, enclosed mall featuring an 80,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue, a 180,000-square-foot Dillard’s and a 160,000-square-foot Macy’s. The $315 million shopping center will include more than 100 specialty stores and restaurants, approximately half of which are anticipated to be new to the market.
Located at I-75 and University Parkway, the area’s most heavily traveled interchange, The Mall at University Town Center aims at becoming the dominant fashion shopping destination in the growing Sarasota region. Analysts predict the project could even become the busiest retail hub from Tampa to Fort Myers.
“The Mall at University Town Center will be a legacy project for Sarasota County,” said Christine Robinson, Sarasota County Commission Chair. “It’s an economically diverse development offering new jobs and new job opportunities. The mall was created by a visionary public-private partnership and based on a sustainable concept that will become a national benchmark for combining a world-class rowing and recreational facility with a world-class commercial and residential center.”
Slated for completion in October 2014, the retail center is expected to pump more than $400 million a year into the regional economy, contributing significantly to the growth of nearby commercial centers, creating thousands of new jobs and boosting property values.
Images via Taubman Centers