Mall at University Town Center Special Section

1636318-175The Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota County, Fla., may very well be the final regionally enclosed shopping mall built in the U.S. We didn’t know it at the time in 2014, but the retail landscape shifted quite a bit since the opening.

It at least was the first of its kind built from the ground-up in the country since 2008, maybe even 2006 depending on your definition.

The co-developer, Taubman Centers, decided to yank a mall project in Miami and instead do more of an urban center. Other mall developers aren’t exactly ready to build something like this either, instead the premium outlet industry is being favored, where you have open-air shops.

We went all-out covering this. This mall was supposed to be built 10 years prior, in 2005, but the Great Recession put that on hold.

A special page devoted to Mall at UTC coverage was created on the Bradenton Herald’s website. Additionally, a special section was published that I helped plan. That included teaming with our graphic designer to use the mall layout that I obtained from open records and match up with all the permits I identified at the time to show shoppers were all the stores would be. (The paper’s servers have moved, so right now you’re left with the JPEGS on this post and the Internet Archive version.)

Here is the main story from the special section, which covers the history of the mall’s development. I co-authored this with fellow business reporter Matt Johnson, who helped with the architecture reporting.

In Mall at University Town Center, dinosaur fossil walls and sophisticated skylight

Oct. 5, 2014

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