I want to start by saying that I wish that the new Mall at University Town Center will be a great success and that people enjoy it. I would like to remind city planners that malls are great if you have a car; but if you don't, they are not that helpful.
The DeSoto Square mall is a case in point. You have tremendous parking but few cars and many stores that are empty.
The great thing about big cities is that you can take the elevator down from your apartment and walk to the nearby cafe, stationery or clothing store, and you don't need a car.
The new apartments in Bradenton on the Sandpile are four stories high. What if they were 15 stories high and left room for the aforementioned shops?
Cities like Sarasota and Bradenton should give consideration to apartments that are adjacent to shops. Bradenton City Hall should be retail and a 30-story building put up in the parking lot. First floor retail, six floors of free parking, 22 floors of apartments and a restaurant on the roof. You then could also walk to Robins and Pier 22 with no trouble.