EAST COUNTY — It’s a two-step process — a balancing act played out by hundreds of contractors on 73 acres at the southwest corner of Cattlemen Road and University Parkway.
After Sarasota County gave its blessing last week, Taubman Centers, the construction manager for the 880,000-square-foot, two-level enclosed Mall at University Town Center, can begin building the facility’s shell.
“This is the next step that allows for the construction of the core building, mall concourse and tenant space,” said John Eggert, Taubman’s development director for the project.
Shell work on the main portion of the mall will start within the next month and continue until late in the first quarter of 2014. Taubman will employ about 20 contractors to build the mall’s shell.
The mall’s three anchors — Saks, Macy’s and Dillard’s — are responsible for their own shell work on their own schedules. Each builds and designs its own stores, inside and out. Taubman simply provides a pad, or a concrete buffer above the ground, for those tenants.
Eggert expects those three stores, which will occupy 420,000 combined square feet, to begin shell work 12 to 16 months before the mall’s opening.
Each department store anchor will probably hire 20 contractors.
“What they (anchors) do is a microcosm of what we do,” Eggert said. “There will be some overlapping.”
Then, about seven to eight months before the mall’s opening, the three anchors should begin working on the interior of their respective spaces.
Smaller, individual tenants, such as restaurants and specialty stores, will begin the process to build out their individual spaces at that time, as well.
Each tenant hires its own contractor.
Taubman will not be finished with its own work on the building at that time and still will have workers laying tile on the floor of the mall concourse. It will put a temporary protective cover over the floor, so contractors from the various tenants can move equipment back and forth.
Individual inline tenants can’t begin designing until Taubman provides the shelling, but, to meet the timeline, the two steps will overlap.
“There’s a lot going on at that point,” Eggert said. “The process is never easy. You just want to make sure all the parties play nice in the sandbox.”
To make it all flow, Taubman routes for material flow and specific spots where contractors — depending on which part of the project they work — must park.
During construction activities, Taubman must find tenants.
Eggert says a main block of tenants will be announced in the fall of this year, while a second group will be unveiled in the first half of next year.
Shopping can begin once construction ends. The $315 million mall project is slated to open Oct. 16, 2014.
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• The mall will be powered by energy-efficient LED lighting.
• The second-floor ceiling will feature reflective glass that brings in natural light and limits lighting costs.
• An automated cooling, heating and lighting system will adjust each of those conditions up or down, depending on the circumstances.
• The parking lot will feature electric car-charging stations.
• Drip irrigation for outdoor landscaping provides for efficient water use.