Boston Proper, Williams-Sonoma, two others coming to Mall at University Town Center

Women's boutiques are part of the Chico's family of stores

cschelle@bradenton.comApril 28, 2014 

UNIVERSITY PARK -- Four more stores have committed to opening at the new Mall at University Town bringing shoes, clothes, lingerie and cookware.

Boston Proper, Soma, Williams-Sonoma and The Walking Company each applied Monday for building permits through Sarasota County, records show.

The two-level, 880,000-square-foot Mall at University Town Center is on track to open Oct. 16 at Cattlemen Road and University Parkway, and is 90 percent leased with less than six months to go.

"Every project is different, but 90-percent leased and committed is a strong number six months before opening," mall general manager Octavio "Tav" Ortiz said. "Nearly all the space is spoken for. We are pleased with the tenants and the merchandising and look forward to the grand opening on Oct. 16."

Boston Proper, offering women's wear, first opened its boutiques in 2013 to expand its 25-year-old catalog operations. The new University Park location is expected to be 2,289 square feet.

Soma started in 2004 as a fitted lingerie and loungewear boutique for women and has more than 200 stores and more than 15 outlets. The Mall at UTC store is expected to be 2,632 square feet.

Both Soma and Boston Proper are part of the Chico's FAS Inc., family of stores that also includes White House | Black Market and Chico's. The collection of stores targets women 30 years old and up. All of those Chico-related stores have a presence on St. Armands. Soma also has an outlet at the Ellenton Premium Outlets.

High-end cooking store Williams-Sonoma was founded in 1956 selling cookware imported from France and has expanded to more than 250 stores nationwide along with its catalog operation. The gourmet store will join its sister store Pottery Barn inside the new mall. Williams-Sonoma also has a store at the Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota.

The Walking Company, founded in 1995 offering a variety of casual and dress shoes, plans a 1,072-square-foot store at the mall. The Walking Company, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., has more than 200 stores including locations on St. Armands Circle and the Southgate Mall.

More than 100 shops and restaurants will be coming including Macy's, Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Apple.

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

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