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Whats next for Sarasota’s UTC? Apartments, offices, entertainment and hotels – Sarasota Herald

Benderson Development Co. releases plans at Las Vegas conference.

LAS VEGAS — The next phase of the University Town Center development will be entertainment, office space, hotels and upscale apartments, features Benderson Development Co. has been teasing for years.

Benderson plans to build 1,750 upscale apartments, 250,000 square feet of office space, entertainment and more at the development at Interstate 75 and University Parkway on the Sarasota-Manatee County line.

A major part of that is the East District at University Town Center, the long-awaited but currently nonexistent mixed-use development that will be directly adjacent to I-75 south of University Parkway.

According to plans from Benderson obtained at the International Council of Shopping Centers ReCon retail conference in Las Vegas, the planned 900,000-square-foot East District will feature an entertainment center anchored by an upscale multi-screen cinema. It will also have three hotels with 500 total rooms, office space, restaurants and retail.

In total, University Town Center will end up being roughly 4 million square feet, Mark Chait, executive director of leasing at Benderson, said in an interview.

“We’ve always envisioned University Town Center to be a true mixed-use project encompassing retail, obviously, restaurants, entertainment, office, residential and hotels. So the East District will be focused on several of those components,” Chait said.

He highlighted office space, hotels and residences as some of the major components of the East District.

Some of the 1,750 apartments will be part of the East District, but the first phase of residences will be just south of the Homewood Suites hotel on Cattlemen Road. The residences at the East District will be located on the southern end of that property, Chait said.

“We will always look at market conditions to evaluate what the right unit mix is and the right amenity mix, but the first phase will be upscale housing,” he said.

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