Saturday, July 5, 2014

JULY 6, 2014


Much has been accomplished since some of you went north for the summer.  Here is a view of rendering and current construction...

There have been several articles recently heralding new arrivals.  Before you left Apple, Crate and Barrell, Lululemon, Pottery Barn, Willaims-Sanoma, Tiffany's , Kate Spade, Michael Kors, White House Black Market, Champs, Aldo filed for construction permits.  Added within the past few months BeBe, Telsa Motors, Johnston and Murphy, Tommy Bahama, Moleskin ,Swaroski , OnedadeMar, plus several more.  In addition, construction permits are ready to be filed forArmani, Gucci and Ferragamo.  And just announced a  beauty and cosmetics product sold in high-end department stores, Kiehl's. Space does not permit all the listings.  Rest assured there are stores for every shopper. 

There will be a wide variety of restaurants.  Starting with Seasons 52, Cheesecake Factory, Brio Tuscan Grille, Capitol Grille and Sophie's at Saks.  Just announced Yo Sushi an overseas sensation.  Your sushi comes on conveyor belt.  I have been to the one in London, and it is terrific.  Rise Pies, a casual pizza chain, will make UTC their first foray into Southwest Florida.  A Sweet Doctors for those of us who like to indulge in pies and cakes.  Add two Starbucks locations along with Stone Cold Creamery, Zinburger, Kona Grill, and Manderin Express for quick take-out Chinese, and every conceivable appetite will be fed.

Beyond the mall in a location still to be determined,  Bass Pro Shops will start construction soon on a 140,000 square foot store. The mega-store outdoor chain, which sells fishing, camping, hunting, boating and other gear will be one of many more coming to the out-parcels surrounding the mall and Shoppes at University Center.  Plans also call for a theatre complex with enough screens for 1700 patrons.

Panera Bread is finally under construction and should open  along with mall in October.   Panera will be sharing its  parcel with an AT@T store, Joseph Bank and a yet to be announced pizza restaurant from West Coast.  Keeping my fingers crossed for California Pizza Kitchen, but that is a long shot.  There will be at least three similar buildings across from UTC.  A Homewood Suites will soon be under construction as well.

If you still haven't purchased your tickets for "The Sneak Peak" on October 15, most charities have sold their allotment.  For $100 you get to be one of the first to spend money at UTC, enjoy food, wine and entertainment and receive a $20 gift card.  The $100 is fully deductible. 

Causing almost as much interest as the mall opening was the announcement of Home Goods replacing a store at Cooper Creek Shopping Center.  They are not closing the Bee Ridge store; only expanding to University area.  As if we needed more traffic.  More about that in my rant this week.

Saw Clint Eastwood's movie Jersey Boys.  Though not receiving great reviews from either the NY Times or Wall St. Journal, it is nevertheless a revealing history of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  As always, his portrayal of the era and cast performances are excellent.  And the music is similar to the Broadway show only presented in an entirely different light.

If you see the movie, by all means see the show when it is at the Van Wezel March 11-15, 2015 for eight performances.  In addition, there are several other Broadway shows scheduled along with many entertainers.  If you want up to date information and a chance to buy tickets I suggest you get on their email list.  It's simple. Click here and an email prompt will pop up. Complete the process and you're in.

SARASOTA'S Super Boat Grand Prix Boat Race is today(Sunday)  at Lido Beach(between New Pass and Big Pass) 2 heats at 11:00 And 2.  This is the last event of a wonderful JULY 4TH weekend.

Recent news of Eat Here closing their downtown location on Main St. was a surprise. But in an email to clients from Sean Murphy, he admits location was too big for type of restaurant he was developing and will concentrate on his Anna Maria and Siesta Key locations.  His lease is being turned over to World of Beer who continues to enjoy great success in its University location.  There will be a lite menu as well.  With McCurdy's revitalizing the neighborhood, a Ker's Wing House location across the street as well as Hollywood 20, this could become a hot spot for the younger SARASOTA crowd.

Finally, the ROMEO'S continue their weekly luncheon adventures around SARASOTA.  They recently ventured to Libby's on Osprey and came away impressed with quality of food, service and reasonable pricing.  In addition, though I disagree, they have named Libby's french fries the market's best.  As the ROMEO'S travel around the country I will keep you up to date about their progress.

 JIM'S RANT...Why has it taken FDOT this long to address the growing congestion on University and 75?  The impact of UTC will be felt in October only multiplying the increasing traffic from a developing Lakewood Ranch community that continues to expand without much of an east-west alternative other than I70, and no outlet south of University . At 5 pm traffic going west on University from the Ranch onto the expressway can be backed up for miles...

Tracy has done her usual fine job of editing this edition.  Until 7/20....JIM

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