Taubman Breaks Ground on Mall in Sarasota


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Taubman Centers Inc. (NYSE:  TCO) and Benderson Development Co. today announced the ground breaking on an 880,000-square-foot shopping center in Sarasota, Fla.

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 will be the dominant fashion shopping destination in the growing Sarasota region.

“Retailer response to The Mall at University Town Center has been tremendous,” said Taubman Chief Operating Officer William Taubman. “We will feature many distinctive retailers not found anywhere else in the local market.  The shopping center will offer a distinctive collection of upscale fashion and lifestyle retailers as well as sit-down restaurants.”

“The Mall at University Town Center solidifies the University area as the premier shopping destination in Southwest Florida,” said Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development Co. “The shopping center, in conjunction with the Nathan Benderson Rowing Facility, will be a world-class destination and a tremendous community benefit for generations to come.”

“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.”

At the conclusion of the groundbreaking ceremony, William Taubman presented a $10,000 check on behalf of the mall to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, a non-profit organization dedicated to quality public education for all children. Through the generosity of a caring community, Education Foundation programs and initiatives go beyond what tax dollars can provide and helps to elevate local public schools to the top of Florida’s education system.

“The communities where we build our shopping centers are the key to our success,” said Taubman. “We believe it is important to reciprocate and support our local community as well.”

The Mall at University Town Center will open on October 16, 2014. Visit www.themallatuniversitytowncenter.com.