At The Mall at University Town Center, it’s out with designer women’s clothing and in with sports apparel and merchandise.
BCBGMAXAZRIA, a centrally located store on the second floor of the mall, is a part of company-wide closures, Bloomberg recently reported. Other Mall at UTC closures, including Cache and Boston Proper, which both closed in 2015, were a part of corporate decisions.
A new retailer, Sports Fever, filed for a business use permit with Sarasota County on March 15. Sports Fever is a sports apparel and merchandise store based in the Northeast U.S. Salvatore Argo, who is helping with the launch of the Sarasota Sports Fever, said they hope to open on the second floor of the mall by May 1.
“The mall itself in Sarasota has a need for a sports store,” Argo said. “There are a couple hundred stores but really no other store that carries anything along the line of what Sports Fever carries. That’s what made them choose that mall.”
The Mall at UTC does have a handful of athletic- and active-wear stores, including Champs Sports, Foot Locker, Fit2Run, Fabletics and lululemon, but none that specializes in team-branded merchandise.
“Jetsons Clothing, which opened in late 2016, is the latest addition to our center,” said Mall at UTC General Manager Jeramy Burkinshaw. “Other retailers that have opened within the last few months include Fabletics, Ultimate Relaxation, iFix & Repair and Magic Bavarian Nuts. We work very hard to find the right balance of retailers and restaurants for each individual shopping center in each individual market.”
The Sports Fever business is owned by Sharon Mastruzzo, who Argo said is a part-time Florida resident.
Sports Fever will carry licensed merchandise for teams from the NHL, the NFL, the NBA and MLB. Argo said the Sarasota store will also carry a small selection of NCAA merchandise with an emphasis on Florida schools.
The Mall at UTC has endured a string of closings and openings since it debuted in October 2014.