First glimpse at University Town Center mall

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SARASOTA, FL - The corner of University Parkway near I-75 will look very different by October 2014. Now, we're getting a first glimpse of what the Mall at University Town Center and Benderson Rowing facility may look like once the construction zones are cleared away.

Some say the two projects earn our area some serious bragging rights.

“It's created a great synergy at that location and the sister projects.  And from the offset, when the University Town Center project was adopted, there were elements tied to Benderson Park.  And those elements now played out with the construction and design in public/private partnerships with Benderson Development and Sarasota Xounty,” says Tom Polk, Director of Planning & Development Services, Sarasota County.

Max Wave Media, an Atlanta-based animation firm, created the renderings. Two Benderson development-owned hotels and other retail and office buildings will surround the 880,000 square foot mall.

Polk says Sarasota is able to support projects like this thanks to being prepared. “I think it's a vision from the county officials starting with commissioners and prudent financial thinking, and planning for both projects to come together.”

And because those elected officials set aside money over the last decade to plan for the future, you get to reap the benefits now. “The economic impacts stem from a shopping/retail standpoint to a sports tourism are great and for the most part I would challenge that this is the only location in the country that has this type of activity going on,” Polk.