Perry Corneau recently noted that real estate giant Benderson Development has received approval for its University Town Center project in a unanimous vote of the Sarasota County Commissioners. This massive project brings nearly 2 million square feet of additional retail to the area, along with some exciting names like Nordstrom’s and Muvico.
The project is slated for completion in 2009 and will be going up at the University Parkway and I-75 interchange, which is already loaded with retail and commercial space. Just a few months ago a SuperTarget opened, which has by all accounts been a gigantic success.
Questions immediately come to mind about the ability of the local community to support such a gigantic increase in retail business, not to mention the ability of our local workforce to supply the necessary workers to man these businesses. In a twist of irony, perhaps the needed influx of workers will give a bump to the local housing market, which has hopefully begun to make an upward turn from over a year of lackluster activity.
Either way, the new (at least new to Sarasota) national retailers and the high-end movie theater will present some unique opportunities to local businesspeople and those with an entrepreneurial streak ready to jump into the mix. In addition to the opportunity to secure retail space nearby, there will no doubt be plenty of new dollars spent in ancillary services to support all of this new activity.