EAST COUNTY — Construction work on the old Circuit City building in the East County is catching the attention of passersby along University Parkway.
Two walls of the old Circuit City building, which also seasonally has housed a Halloween store, have been demolished to make room for a 15,000-square-foot expansion to the space.
Mark Chait, executive director of leasing for Benderson Development, which owns the building, said Benderson is making room for a national retailer that is not yet in the Sarasota/Bradenton market. He said a tenant announcement is forthcoming, but cannot be made at this time.
Once complete, the renovated space will be a total of 35,000 square feet.
Benderson expects to deliver the space to the new tenant in June.
“They will be open in time for the holiday season,” Chait said.
Benderson also has started earthwork for an adjacent freestanding building that will be 30,000 square feet once finished. The new structure is being constructed at the back of The Shoppes at University Town Center plaza, roughly between the Bonefish Grill restaurant and University Parkway and west of the plaza’s Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/University Park.
“The continued growth of the University Parkway corridor is extraordinarily exciting,” Chait said. “We look forward to adding vibrant new retailers to the area.”
In The Shoppes at University Town Center, Benderson’s easternmost plaza on the north side of University Parkway — located between Cooper Creek Boulevard and Interstate 75 — several other new stores are joining the plaza’s mix.
Tandoor Indian Restaurant signed a lease March 1, for the space formerly occupied by Mama Onesti’s, an Italian eatery.
Valentino Pizzeria Trattoria opened about one month ago between Richard’s Foodporium and Linksters.
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+ Development update
Mark Chait, Benderson Development’s executive director of leasing, said construction crews are pouring foundations for the new University Town Center mega-mall project being constructed at the southeast corner of University Parkway and Interstate 75.
Benderson is working on potential deals with tenants for parcels along North Cattlemen Road, in the first phase of the University Town Center project, immediately west of the mall location. Additionally, a Subway restaurant soon will be joining the tenant mix in the Kohl’s plaza farther west, taking a space near Tijuana Flats.
And, along State Road 70, just east of Lockwood Ridge Road, in Bradenton, work is under way on a new Publix shopping center. The Publix space will be completed in the fall, Chait said. The plaza will be home to sushi and Chinese restaurants, the Hair Cuttery, a nail salon and a Subway restaurant, among other tenants.