Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Upscale mall project on University Parkway gets back on track

Benderson Development Co. has turned bullish on prospects for its proposed upscale mall on the Manatee-Sarasota county line. Shown above is the Benderson buffalo, outside its headquarters in southern Manatee County. (Photo James A. Jones Jr.)

Benderson Development Co. plans to restart its upscale University Town Center mall project as early as spring.

The proposed two-level mall was originally conceived to include companies such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s at the southeast corner of Interstate 75 and University Parkway.

Benderson had all its approvals in hand and was anticipating a 2010 opening when the national economy tanked.

Those plans, and construction, were put on hold in December 2008.

Benderson now hopes to complete construction of the mall by 2014, said Paul Blackketter, the company’s executive director of planning.

A key component of the mall will be neighboring Nathan Benderson Park and its rowing facility. Benderson is working with Manatee and Sarasota county governments to bring national and international rowing events to the area, hosting thousands of visitors and athletes.

For more, see Thursday's Herald.

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