The Mall at University Town Center Debuts in Sarasota, Florida


Oct 16, 2014

SARASOTA, FL., Oct. 16, 2014  -- Thousands of Southwest Florida residents and visitors were the first to shop The Mall at University Town Center ("UTC") at its grand opening today in Sarasota, Fla. Officials celebrated the opening by cutting a ribbon a few minutes before 10 a.m. – just before the mall officially opened for business. Guests were delighted as a flurry of white ticker-tape paper fell from the sky moments after the ribbon was cut.

Featuring more than 100 retailers and restaurants, well over half of which are unique to the Sarasota-Manatee market, The Mall at UTC is the only newly built enclosed regional shopping mall to open in the United States this year.

The 73-acre Mall at UTC, located at the southwest corner of I-75 and University Parkway, is the focal point of a larger, 276-acre University Town Center development featuring additional retail, dining and hotels, with a world-class rowing competition facility located immediately adjacent. The 880,000-square-foot mall was developed through a partnership between Taubman Centers and Benderson Development Company, LLC. The Mall at UTC offers visitors a diverse mix of upscale, fashion and lifestyle retailers, popular favorites, sit-down restaurants and a children's play area.

"We have eagerly anticipated the opening of The Mall at University Town Center," said Randy Benderson, CEO of Benderson Development. "It's gratifying to see our vision for the University Town Center development continue to be realized, and to have such an overwhelming public response. The center truly has exceeded our and the community's expectations."

Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's and Dillard's anchor The Mall at UTC's premier retail offerings. Some of the unique to market merchants include Apple, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, lululemon athletica, Anthropologie, J.Crew, H&M, Lucky Brand, Crate & Barrel, L'Occitane and Tesla Motors. Dozens more national brands such as Boston Proper, Brooks Brothers, Janie and Jack, Gap and Talbots complement the unique offerings, as do a number of local favorites including Jackie Z Style Co., TINA Stephens and Sweet Doctors. Distinctive dining options such as The Cheesecake Factory, BRIO Tuscan Grille, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Kona Grill and Burger & Beer Joint (coming soon) make The Mall at UTC a shopping and dining destination.

More than 100 retailers and restaurants opened at The Mall at UTC today, with approximately 15 more slated to open by year-end and several more debuting in 2015.

In addition to its unique collection of retailers, The Mall at UTC offers a number of high-tech, customer-focused amenities, including a Visit Sarasota Visitors Center, electric car charging stations, free Wi-Fi, interactive touchscreen directories and numerous electronics charging stations, along with valet parking and a children's play area.

The center's striking design embraces the Southwest Florida setting with soaring, light-filled spaces and elegantly detailed, natural building materials including wood, glass, metal and fossil stone. A vaulted skylight runs the entire north-south length of the mall and glows with color-changing LED lighting at night. Native and eco-friendly landscaping, green and Smart Building practices, water and energy conservation and recycling are just a few features of the center's environmentally friendly sustainability program. 

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