UNIVERSITY PARK -- Following the lead of designer handbag sellers Vera Bradley, Brighton and Michael Kors, clothier and accessories retailer kate spade is throwing her purse into the ring at the new Mall at University Town Center.
According to a construction permit application filed Tuesday with Sarasota County, the design and construction plans for a new, 1,757-square-foot kate spade store at the yet-unfinished $315 million mall is under review.
When complete, the store will be the second under the kate spade name to sell products in the area. The company has an outlet store at the Ellenton Premium Outlets Mall.
The company opened its first shop in New York in 1996, a few years after former Madamoiselle magazine accessories editor Kate Brosnahan Spade set out to design "the perfect handbag," according to the kate spade website.
Design house Liz Claiborne purchased kate spade for $124 million in 2007. Liz Claiborne is now known as kate spade & company.
Its stores sell clothing, purses and accessories, and the company operates about 80 retail and outlet stores throughout the United States.
The construction permitting documents show that the store will be an interior buildout of a "vanilla box," a space that is empty except for roughly finished walls. The estimated value of the construction is set at $400,000.
Wayne, N.J., architecture firm Tiacarico Architecture and Design is listed as the architect of record for the project. According to its website, the company has designed
stores for another purse seller, Coach.
The Mall at University Town Center, which is under construction at the corner of Cattlemen Road and University Parkway, is scheduled to open on Oct. 16. A joint venture undertaken by Manatee's Benderson Development and Taubman Centers of Michigan, the mall is slated to include 115 shops and restaurants.
Taubman is leasing and managing the mall.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.com.