Details For University Park Saks Fifth Avenue Store Revealed
Sarasota's Saks Fifth Avenue will leave the Westfield Southgate Mall in favor of a two-level, larger store at The Malll at University Town Center in 2014.
It's official: Saks Fifth Avenue is leaving the Westfield Southgate Mall in 2014 favor of a new location at The Mall at University Town Center.
The luxury clothing store announced the move in a press release posted on Reuters Thursday:
"The new location will double the size of the existing store, providing Sarasota with an unprecedented assortment of designer offerings. Topping these offerings will be the local premier of Saks Fifth Avenue`s signature women`s shoe boutique, 10022-SHOE, which will immediately boast the area`s largest curated luxury shoe offering. In addition, the location will feature a new and unique men`s area, an expanded space for the Saks Fifth Avenue Men`s Collection, and an exclusive in-house restaurant."
The store will have two levels, be 80,000 square feet and will be managed by Joel Ellzey, who is with the Sarasota store after serving as the Tampa store's general manager, according to the company.
The Southgate store would close when the new one opens, expected for Oct. 16, 2014, according to the company. The Mall at University Town Center is a co-development by Taubman Centers and University Park-based Benderson Development, and is being constructed north of Nathan Benderson Park.
This shouldn't come as a total surprise as the University Town Center mall's developers announced in April 2012 that Saks would anchor the new mall along with Dillard's and Macy's, which both serve as anchors to Southgate Mall as well. Macy's also has a store at DeSoto Square in Bradenton.
"We look forward to providing our loyal Sarasota area customers with an expanded assortment of distinctive merchandise and an immersive shopping experience in a beautiful, innovative retail environment," Saks Chairman and CEO Steve Sadove said in a statement.
Saks' departure from Southgate Mall could mean other stores tagging along for the ride to University Park, The Herald-Tribune reported:
"Thanks to so-called “kick-out clauses” in most merchants’ leases, tenants like Williams Sonoma, Coach, Ann Taylor and Pottery Barn, among others, could leave the mall when Saks exits.
“Westfield will need to shift its mall from being a regional center to a community center in order to survive,” said Jeff Green, president of Jeff Green Partners, a Phoenix-based retail consultant who has done work in Southwest Florida. “They can’t operate how they once did.”
A Southgate spokesperson declined to say what would replace Saks, according to the Herald-Tribune.