Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fun with fake stores at new Mall at University Town Center

Mall at University Town Center's developer Taubman Centers is in the teasing business in their video renderings of the new mall.

Of course, the video animation folks had to be inventive so as not tospill all the secrets of what's coming. You will see Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard's and Macy's in their appropriate places as the videos soars underneath the glass archway ceilings.

The video was released via Taubman on YouTube in May 2013, but somehow was buried among other renderings released by animation company Max Wave Media that featured a fly-over of the mall and Nathan Benderson Park last summer. Another rendering video previously released also showed something mighty close to a Bass Pro Shop, but that is more likely to be built on one of the Benderson-developed parcels east of the mall next to Interstate 75.

We only know of a few confirmed stores now including American Eagle Outfitters, Brooks Brothers, Oil & Vinegar and Smoothie King in addition to restaurants BRIO Tuscan Grille, Capital Grille, Cheesecake Factory, Kona Grill and Seasons 52.

Sure, it's likely that the Apple Store is coming, too, but we're not 100 percent on that yet.

In the meantime, check out the fake names of stores the animators decided to put in the video to give a flavor of the type of mall to open Oct. 16. You might recognize a funny knock-off name if you shopped on a sidewalk stand in New York or Miami.

I'll write down what my best guess for the actual retailers in parenthesis

Aux Bon Gourmet (Au Bon Pain though it would make sense for a Corner Bakery Cafe)
Design Studio
Mocha Cafe (Starbucks located underneath escalators)
Channel (Chanel)
Gantier (likely a perfume store)
The Bar
Cap (Gap)
Fashion Street (Font looks like a Charlotte Ruse)
Guchi (Gucci)
JJ Jewelers
Omar Viducci (Gianni Versace)

Colleagues in the newsroom remarked how much the mall looked like International Plaza, another Taubman-owned mall. To me, the cafe and table area by the glass elevators resembles Countryside Mall in Clearwater, without the ice rink, and feels a bit like the Mall in Columbia (Md.) that features similar stores on two levels. That mall is managed by the Howard Hughes Corp. and General Growth Properties.

It might be easier to watch the video and pair the names with the fonts on the signs if you're trying to guess what's coming. Keep in mind there are supposed to be more than 100 stores and half of them new to the Sarasota-Bradenton market. Many of the animated storefronts lacked names and some were duplicated.

What's your best guess to the stores inside the Mall at UTC? Share your guesses below.

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