Mall at UTC

Mall at University Town Center: A Timeline

1993: Sarasota County buys 276 acres from D. Huntington Hearin Jr. for a business and commerce park. This new county land will become the Sarasota Interstate Park of Commerce.

July 27, 1993: Sarasota County commissioners approve a development plan for the Sarasota Interstate Park of Commerce allowing 220 apartment/condo units, 500 hotel rooms, 892,488 square feet of light industrial, 246,460 square feet of retail and 311,052 square feet of office space.

June 2000: Original landowner D. Huntington Hearin Jr. proposes a land swap in exchange for eliminating square footage caps. Plans never came forward and are put on hold. Name of SIPOC changed to University Center.

2002: Benderson Development takes control of the University Center project from Hearin.

June 2004: Muvico commits to building a movie theater at the planned University Town Center.

2005: Benderson files plans with Sarasota County for University Town Center, including a nearly 1 million-square-foot enclosed mall.

Nov. 15, 2006: Sarasota County Commission votes 4-3 against plans for the Mall at University Town Center, which included a detached movie theater in a town center development. The planned town center, which included the mall and other retail, was 1.2 million square feet, expandable up to 1.8 million square feet.

January 2007: Nordstrom signs a letter of intent with Forbes Co. and Benderson Development Co. to open a new store at University Town Center in Sarasota. The new, two-level Nordstrom was planned to be 138,000 square feet.

Jan. 23, 2007: Sarasota County Commission unanimously approves a new version of the plans for the town center that uses more office space, less retail and redesigns the property using more of a New Urbanism design.

July 10, 2007: Sarasota County Commission approves entitlements of up to 1.6 million square feet of retail, 220,000 square feet of office, a 3,500-seat movie theater, 500 hotel rooms and 1,750 apartment/condo units.

Aug. 24, 2007: Westfield appeals Sarasota County's decision to approve University Town Center, asking for a hearing from the Florida Department of Community Affairs, now known as Department of Economic Opportunity. The hearing is later granted as Westfield is considered an affected party in the case.

September 2007: Neiman Marcus agrees to build an 80,000-square-foot department store at the mall.

Spring 2008: Construction was supposed to begin for the Mall at University Town Center

May 2008: Taubman Centers joins Forbes and Benderson Development on the Mall at University Town Center. Macy's is announced as third anchor for the mall.

August 2008: An administrative law judge says Benderson's traffic study was properly completed, paving the way for the state's Department of Community Affairs to sign off on permits for the mall. The mall was still on track to be finished by fall 2010.

Oct. 31, 2008: After years of litigation, the development order for the University Town Center project becomes final after the Department of Community Affairs approves the project.

Summer 2009: Benderson Development places the Mall at UTC on hold during the Great Recession and housing bust in Florida. During this time, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus pull out of the project as well as Muvico. Other rumored luxury tenants backed out as well.

October 2009: Phase II, the mall/town center, never commenced. Benderson gets permission for buildout date changed from Dec. 31, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2014.

November 2010: Original planned opening date of the Mall at University Town Center. Project is on hold.

May 2011: JPRA Architects resume work on drawing up a new version of the Mall at University Town Center a year before the reworked plans would become public.

April 2012: Benderson Development files new plans for an 880,000-square-foot Mall at University Town Center with partner Taubman Centers. Forbes is no longer in the picture. A future expansion of the mall could bring the mall's total size to more than 1 million square feet.

Oct. 15, 2012: Benderson Development and Taubman Centers break ground on the new version of the Mall at University Town Center featuring an 80,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue, a 180,000-square-foot Dillard's and a 160,000-square-foot Macy's. The mall was designed to have room for future expansion that could include a fourth department store and parking deck.

The $315 million shopping center includes more than 100 specialty stores and restaurants, approximately half of which are anticipated to be new to the market.

January 2013: Drawings completed by JPRA Architects for Mall at University Town Center.

May 24, 2013: North Cattlemen Road extension opens, creating a north-south route to access the Mall at University Town Center, reaching south to Fruitville Road.

June 2014: Benderson Development files a request with Sarasota County to add up to 600,000 square feet of retail and 100,000 square feet of office to existing entitlements in its University Town Center plan.

Oct. 16, 2014: The Mall at University Town Center will open with stores such as Apple, Crate & Barrel, H&M and local shops such as Jackie Z Style Co., Sweet Doctors and Le Macaron French Pastries. It becomes the only enclosed mall with 100 percent new construction to open in 2014 and the first permanent enclosed mall to open since 2006.

Oct. 17, 2014: The Capital Grille is expected to open inside the Mall at University Town Center.

Thanksgiving 2014: Burger and Beer Joint is expected to open inside the Mall at UTC.