New Mall on University ParkwayNovember 4, 2008
Recently the Benderson Group and it’s partners have received final approval to pull permits on the construction of their new mall on University Parkway. The mall to be called the University Town Center will be modeled after the Mall at Millenia in Orlando. The developers expect that at least 70% of the retailers in the mall will be new to the Sarasota area which they say has been undeserved by the luxury retail segment. Currently shoppers in our are have to travel to Tampa or Naples to shopp at a Tiffany’s or Neiman Marcus. Additional retailers will include the likes of Pac Sun, Talbots, Abercrombie & Fitch, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel and Vilebrquin. Soon locals and international travelers will be able to enjoy such stores right here in Sarasota. Such high end retailers will be good for our area and will attract more international visitors to our town. According to Visit Florida, shopping ranks as the highest priority among international travelers while only fifth in importance among domestic tourists. This is one of the reasons the mall’s developers are bullish on the project despite the current economic climate. They have indicated that they will pay for the project from their own funds if favorable financing terms are not procured.