BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE: TCO) on Tuesday announced that construction will begin soon on the state-of-the-art, 880,000-square-foot Mall at University Town Center at I-75 and University Parkway in Sarasota, Fla.
The approximately $315-million, two-level enclosed shopping center will feature an 80,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue, a 160,000-square-foot Macy’s and a 180,000-square-foot Dillard’s, along with approximately 115 stores – more than half expected to be new to the market. In addition, a fourth department store is planned to be added at a future date.
The shopping center will begin construction later this year and is expected to open in the fall 2014. The project is being developed by Taubman and Benderson Development. Each will own 50 percent. Taubman will be responsible for development, management and leasing of the center.
The Mall at University Town Center joins several other dominant fashion centers in Florida that Taubman owns or has co-developed, including International Plaza in Tampa, Waterside Shops at Pelican Bay in Naples, and Mall at Millenia in Orlando.â€¨
“The Mall at University Town Center will be one of the premier shopping destinations on the west coast of Florida,” said Robert Taubman, chairman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers, “and it will be the preferred shopping destination in the Sarasota region for locals and visitors alike.”
“This represents the perfect addition to the Gulf Coast’s finest retail corridor,” said Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development. “This extraordinary investment in Southwest Florida’s future will exceed anyone’s expectations.”
“We are excited about expanding Saks Fifth Avenue’s presence in Sarasota by opening our new store in The Mall at University Town Center, which will be double the size of our existing store,” noted Steve Sadove, chairman and CEO of Saks. “We look forward to showcasing our increased assortment of designer offerings in the new space and delivering even more special services and amenities to our many loyal Sarasota customers.”
“In Sarasota, Macy’s serves a strong year-round community as well as a thriving population of tourists and winter residents. The University Town Center location will provide us the opportunity to serve new and existing customers with the distinctive fashion, great value and exciting shopping experience for which Macy’s is known,” said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief stores officer. “We will continue to tailor our offering in Sarasota to meet the unique needs of the customers who live, visit and work there, and we expect to continue to be active members of the community.”
Dillard’s Chief Executive Officer, William Dillard, II, stated, “We are pleased to join in the exciting announcement of The Mall at University Town Center. Our new Dillard’s store will enable us to present our Sarasota area customers and guests with compelling selections and premium Dillard’s service in a new location featuring our latest in store design. We are looking forward to serving Southwest Floridians at The Mall at University Town Center.”