You might be thinking, "Really? A mall? What's so special about a mall?" That's exactly what we're here to tell you! University Town Center (UTC) is far more than a single-building shopping complex. According to the UTC website, it is home to more than 300 "nationally known and homegrown shops, restaurants, fitness studios, services, and attractions, as well as first-class offices and hotels." It spans north and south of University Parkway from Interstate 75 to west of Honore Avenue, and includes The Mall, The West District, The Shoppes, The Square, The Market, and The Offices.
And it had better be special. Many skeptics questioned why so much land and money should be invested in a shopping mall at a time when the popularity and success of shopping malls nationwide was on the decline. Seven years after the grand opening in 2015, there is still hurt and anger in the community among those who witnessed a swift exodus of storefronts from the existing Sarasota Square Mall, Siesta Key Mall, and downtown Sarasota to the new retail destination.