The worst kept secret in town was made official this morning when a Sarasota County building permit revealed that fashion designer Michael Kors is adding a location to the new Mall at University Town Center.
Kors was reportedly spotted around town this past season at the Ringling Museum of Art’s “Icon of Style” opening in November and at Saks Fifth Avenue in Sarasota.
In November, Kors bought two adjacent Longboat Key lots for $6 million and plans have been submitted for a large beachfront home ar 6271 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
The transaction was the largest recorded sale in the region for a vacant Gulf-front parcel since 2004.
The designer also has stores at Tampa’s International Plaza and Naples’ Waterside Shops and outlet stores in Ellenton and Estero, as well as approximately a dozen stores on Florida’s West Coast.
On Thursday, a building permit was also submitted for Z Gallerie, a Los Angeles-based national home furnishings retailer known for its upscale housewares, furniture and home accessories.
Z Gallerie has more than 50 locations across the United States, including a location at Tampa’s International Plaza.
Z Gallerie’s move to the area comes on the heels of competitor Crate & Barrel’s commitment to the mall earlier this week.
J. Crew, a national clothing retailer for men and women, also committed to the mall earlier this week, according to a building permit filed.
Also this week, the Saks Fifth Avenue sign was attached to the exterior of the mall.
The mall, which is being developed by Taubman Centers and Benderson Development, is expected to open Oct. 16.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].