J.Jill, Edward Beiner coming to new Mall at University Town Center

Women's clothier and trendy eyewear company newest tenants for upscale mall

cschelle@bradenton.comApril 16, 2014 

UNIVERSITY PARK -- A dressy casual women's clothing store and a trendy eyewear maker are the latest retailers to come to the new Mall at University Town Center.

Women's clothing store J. Jill along with Miami-based Edward Beiner both applied for building permits with Sarasota County on Wednesday.

J. Jill started in 1959 as a single store in the Berskshires of Massachusetts by Karl and Marianne Lipsky and now has more than 225 stores across the country. The couple named its first store Jennifer House after their first daughter and when a second daughter, Jill, came along, it was renamed J. Jill. The store applied for a building permit Wednesday with Sarasota County Planning & Development Services.

The company was purchased by Talbots in 2006 but in 2009 was acquired by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

J. Jill also has locations at the Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota and International Plaza in Tampa.

Edward Beiner makes prescription eyeglasses and frames and carries designer lines like Ray Ban, Chanel, Gucci and Cartier.

The company was founded by Brazilian Edward Beiner, who opened his first store in South Miami in 1981, and now has nine stores -- all

in Florida, the closest are in Naples and Orlando.

He partnered with Guido Balocco, who was edcuated in Italy and joined the company as a partner and board member in 2001 after spending time as an executive for eyewear maker Persol.

The two-level, 880,000-square-foot mall is now six months away from opening on the corner of University Parkway and Cattlemen Road. The mall is being leased by Taubman Centers and will feature retailers including Apple, Macy's, Dillard's and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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