Tag Archives: benderson

Plans submitted for shopping center revitalization in Sarasota, FL


Picture via Gator Investments website
Town and Country Plaza at Beneva and Fruitville roads in Sarasota.

SARASOTA — Benderson Development Co. filed redevelopment plans with Sarasota city officials on April 28 for the Town and Country Plaza shopping center at the northwest Corner of Beneva and Fruitville roads.

Florida’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange coming to Sarasota

Florida’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange coming to Sarasota

By  via WFLA.com News Channel 8

SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) — Florida’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange is coming to one of the Bay area’s busiest stretches of roadway. Engineers believe the innovative design will help ease congestion and reduce crashes at I-75 and University Parkway.

The Diverging Diamond Interchange eliminates a left turn movement onto an interstate entrance ramp.  Drivers will travel on University Parkway through a cross over onto the left side of the road.  They can then turn left onto the ramp without stopping.  If they are not getting on the interstate, they will continue straight and cross back over to the right hand side of the road. Watch below to see exactly how it works.

Benderson unveils new hotel plans

Benderson unveils new hotel plans

by: Pam Eubanks | Senior Editor via Observer.com

Benderson Development is one step closer to fulfilling its vision to make its University Town Center project a one-stop venue for visitors to Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The company last week broke ground on the first of several future hotels, totaling 500 rooms, surrounding The Mall at University Town Center.

The first is a 130-room Homewood Suites. The six-level hotel will be 79 feet tall and have 115,000 square feet.

“Our plan is a total deviation from Hilton’s prototype for the Homewood Suites flag,” said Todd Mathes, Benderson’s director of development. “Hilton scrutinized our plans over the past year or so and only very recently issued its approval.”

Mathes said the limited-service hotel will have significant upgrades in terms of finishes, design and materials. This includes higher quality furniture and a different design. “We stepped up everything,” he said.

The hotel is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016.

Benderson Development (doing business as Buffalo Lodging Associates) owns and operates about 40 Hilton and Marriott brand hotels, including the Courtyard Sarasota University Park and Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch, across University Parkway. It typically builds within prototypical standards, but is making improvements to match the new Homewood Suites location with the aesthetics and quality of the surrounding properties.

Additionally, the Homewood Suites location, at the southwest corner of Cattlemen and DeSoto roads, will be a recognizable location.

– See more at: http://www.yourobserver.com/news/east-county/Front-Page/0128201538415/Benderson-unveils-new-hotel-plans#sthash.Nnb83MTw.dpuf

Controlled chaos – With New UTC mall opening soon, the potential traffic in the area can only be described as SNARLED

Controlled chaos – With New UTC mall opening soon, the potential traffic in the area can only be described as SNARLED

by: Pam Eubanks via The Observer



When Todd Mathes drove to work one day last week, there were three traffic-stoppers: a broken-down car on northbound Interstate 75 near University Parkway; an accident at Honore Avenue and University; and another accident at I-75 near Fruitville Road.

Mathes, director of development for Benderson Development, co-developer of The Mall at University Town Center, knows more traffic mayhem is coming as he, local officials and partners at mall co-developer Taubman Centers prepare for an estimated 100,000 shoppers on the mall’s opening day, Oct. 16.
Mathes pushes a 40-page transportation plan across the table; it’s battle-ready, although it could still be fine-tuned over the next week.

“It’s controlled chaos,” Mathes said. “The busiest time in the mall’s life is its grand opening.”
The plan in place — should drivers heed suggestions — should facilitate a best-case scenario for moving traffic to and from the mall’s 4,100 parking spaces on opening day and the three days thereafter.
Sarasota and Manatee County transportation officials, the Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Transportation and local sheriff’s offices have jointly worked on the plan since their kickoff meeting this summer.
“I think it’s going to work great,” Mathes says of the plan. “The big question is how much traffic is diverted like we hope? I think we have a good plan to respond.”

Mathes says whether drivers take suggested alternative routes to the mall will have a significant impact on traffic along University Parkway and I-75, in particular.

Officials hope to direct northbound mall-bound vehicles from Fruitville Road to Cattlemen Road and from University Parkway to Honore Avenue and then Desoto Road, rather than drivers taking I-75 to the University Parkway exit.

Own this piece of property right by the new UTC mall and watch as traffic BOOMS! Suggested routes are listed on the mall’s website and also will be advertised in local newspapers. Signs strategically placed on nearby roadways in both Sarasota and Manatee counties also will suggest alternative routes.

“It’s educating the driver in advance of the mall opening and signage to remind them to take alternative routes,” Mathes said. “Our struggle is to get people to use those alternatives. People are creatures of habit.”

Sarasota County will spearhead efforts to educate the public on alternative route options, temporary vehicle and pedestrian restrictions and other pertinent information.

Mathes said Benderson and Taubman have invested close to $500,000 to help ensure traffic flows as smoothly as possible during the mall’s opening weekend. The cost includes the hiring of a traffic engineering consultant, off-duty law enforcement to direct traffic, security personnel, barricades and signage and the construction of a temporary 1,000-vehicle overflow parking lot, primarily intended for mall employees.

CLICK HERE <—- For complete article

Law enforcement, mall officials prepare for traffic at Mall at UTC in Sarasota, FL… ‘Lawd have mercy on folks driving that area’

Law enforcement, mall officials prepare for traffic at Mall at UTC in Sarasota, FL… ‘Lawd have mercy on folks driving that area’

BY CLAIRE ARONSON via Bradenton.com

UNIVERSITY PARK — It promises to be the biggest tourist attraction in an area that is already full of them.

Local law enforcement is working to ensure that traffic patterns around the Mall at University Town Center remain as normal as possible during the attraction’s opening next month.

The Manatee County and Sarasota County sheriff’s office, Florida Department of Transportation and Florida Highway Patrol have been meeting with the mall’s management in past months to prepare for the mall’s Oct. 16 opening, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Captain Ron Locke said. The mall is located at the intersection of Interstate 75 and University Parkway in Sarasota County.

“I just think the people who plan on coming there should exercise patience as we are trying to make it the safest possible environment that we can,” Locke said.

Congratulations on winning the auction to purchase Desoto Square Mall — By the way, Macy’s (132,000 Square Feet) is leaving. Have a great day!

Congratulations on winning the auction to purchase Desoto Square Mall — By the way, Macy’s (132,000 Square Feet) is leaving. Have a great day!

By Charles Schelle via Bradenton Herald

Macy’s will be leaving the DeSoto Square mall in favor of its new store set to open in October at the Mall at University Town Center.

Employees at the Bradenton store were informed Thursday morning, said Melissa Goff, a spokeswoman for Macy’s.

Macy’s is opening a 160,000-square-foot store to anchor the Mall at University Town Center, opening Oct. 16.

Macy’s closure could cause other stores to close thanks to co-tenancy clauses.

These clauses are specific and present various scenarios for why a tenant could end their lease early, sometimes with paying a termination fee. In one case with Victoria’s Secret, if the mall’s occupancy drops to 70 percent or less of gross leasable area, it can exercise the right to leave. Also, if the mall has fewer than three anchors, the store could leave, according to its lease. With Macy’s leaving, this could trigger tenants to depart much like Old Navy, FootLocker and others who left after Dillard’s announced its closure in 2009.

The Victoria’s Secret lease also said the mall could not have certain tenants like Walmart, Bass Pro, Home Depot, Big Lots, car rental businesses, an appliance store in a big box anchor, or else it would leave.

If that worse-case scenario occurs, the mall could be mostly empty in two to three years.

If a new owner decides to redevelop the property, they would have the easiest time dealing with tenants for a plan in 2016 and 2017.

More than 40 leases for stores and kiosks have their first expiration in 2016, after 13 leases expire in 2015, including the Dollar Movie theater. A couple of those expiring leases include continued payments from tenants who left the mall early.

To read the complete story CLICK HERE <—-====

Costs soar, start delayed on I-75 Diverging Diamond University Parkway exit

Did anyone see this coming? Substantially increased costs and delayed start dates?? How about assurance that Benderson Development is responsible for the majority of the cost and construction. I have no doubt the mall will be on time and budget.

Costs soar, start delayed on I-75 Diverging Diamond University Parkway exit

By Dale White via Herald Tribune

Costs for construction of a diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 75 and University Parkway has risen 20 percent above initial estimates and the estimated start of the project has been pushed back from early 2015 to August of next year.

State and local officials are under criticism for not tackling the intersection’s woes sooner.

Traffic congestion there is likely to worsen before it gets better. The Mall at University Town Center, also at the southwest corner of the interchange, is to open in October. Thousands of more homes are planned for Lakewood Ranch, which spans Manatee and Sarasota counties east of the interchange. And the reconstruction work itself, largely in the footprint of the existing interchange, will causes back-ups and delays.

Officials are counting on the project being completed before the 2017 World Rowing Championships at nearby Nathan Benderson Park.

That gives the FDOT and the contractor it selects two years to get the diverging diamond, a first in Florida, completed.

The projected $60 million tab is now up to $72 million as the Florida Department of Transportation adds costs such as additional earthwork, a 5,365-foot-long wall to muffle traffic noise along some residential areas along I-75 and other adjustments.

For more good news and the complete article, CLICK HERE <—–======

Overhaul of University and I-75 on pace to start this summer

Overhaul of University and I-75 on pace to start this summer

By Jeremy Wallace via Sarasota Herald Tribune

Preliminary work to fix one of the Southwest Florida’s most dysfunctional highway interchanges is on pace to start this summer, decades ahead of schedule.

Florida Department of Transportation officials said the Legislature’s proposed budget — set for adoption next week — will give them more than enough money to start the initial design and engineering work this summer on improving the Interstate 75-University Parkway interchange, a project that has quickly become one of the region’s most pressing transportation needs.

And there is still the potential that the FDOT will have enough money in its budget to begin construction on the $58 million project within the next year.

“That’s our goal,” FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said Wednesday.

While it might be an ambitious goal, Prasad said it is not an “insurmountable” challenge.

So far the proposed 2014-15 state budget includes only enough guaranteed money for the $244,000 preliminary design work and engineering work.

While that amount seems small compared with the overall expense, it represents a major political shift. As recently as December, no construction was foreseen by state or local officials at the busy gateway to Lakewood Ranch until after the year 2036. State lawmakers were mostly indifferent toward the project and county commissioners in both Sarasota and Manatee actively opposed the work.

For the complete article, CLICK HERE <—–=======

Sarasota, FL is Officially a Runners Paradise

Sarasota, FL is Officially a Runners Paradise

Sarasota is a Runners Paradise... Officially!

Sarasota is a Runners Paradise… Officially!

People often swim, cycle and row for exercise. But for many — either before or after work, on weekends or while on vacation — staying fit means tying on a pair of shoes and going for a run.

And for runners trying to decide where to vacation or to move, finding a county with the Road Runners Club of America’s seal of approval as an Outstanding Runner-Friendly Community has to be a plus.

In choosing Sarasota County, the national runners club founded in 1958 cited the county’s hundreds of miles of trails and sidewalks that wind their way along the Gulf Coast and Bayfront, Myakka River State Park, Legacy Trail and Oscar Scherer State Park.

The club’s opinion matters: It has 2,300 member clubs and events, in which more than 250,000 running club members participate.

Sarasota Athletic Association president Felicia Cox spearheaded the award-nomination process, which included an extensive list of program criteria and contacting running community partners for support.

Cox presented the award to Sarasota County Commissioners with partners from tourism agency Visit Sarasota County and New Balance Sarasota & University Park co-owner David Jackson. They and County Commissioner Joe Barbetta all provided information and letters of support for the nomination.

“Sarasota enjoys a well-deserved reputation as being committed to developing and maintaining safe pathways for runners while respecting the integrity of environmentally sensitive areas and wildlife habitat,” Barbetta said.

For complete article, CLICK HERE <—–=====

inhabit Sarasota – a fun Sarasota website

inhabit Sarasota – a fun Sarasota website

Raeanne Malone launched inhabitSarasota to share her love of all things Sarasota. She’s crazy about modern architecture and design, art festivals, farmers markets, wine, the beach and coastal living. No sponsored posts here, she simply write about the things she love’s. Thanks for stopping by!