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Sarasota Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2015 7 years ago

City issues permit for Saks demolition

CinéBistro is another step closer to opening in Westfield Southgate Mall
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Luxury cinemas slated for Westfield Southgate Mall are another step closer to opening, as the city of Sarasota issued a $297,000 demolition permit Friday. While other nearby construction plans and real estate sales have the intersection of Bee Ridge Road and South Tamiami Trail slated to become hub for redevelopment.

Cobb Theaters aims to open a seven-screen CinéBistro complex in the former Saks Fifth Avenue space this year. The city is reviewing two additional permits for more than $3.4 million of work on the site, according to city building records.

The 35,000 square-foot CinéBistro will have oversized, reclining leather chairs and in-theater full service dining from an American Bistro-style menu. The cinema will also have a bar, dining lounge and patio that will be open to moviegoers and any other guests, and movies will will include first-run and independent films.

“Cobb has a great track record of opening CinéBistro at various location across the country, and we are very happy to have them join Westfield Southgate and our successful lineup of retail brands,” said Westfield Southgate General Manager Jim Ralston in a November news release.

The mall received a $511,000 permit for a coming Abercrombie & Fitch store earlier this month.

Across South Tamiami Trail, Brightwork Real Estate spent $750,000 to buy a drive-thru at the Leedom Building near the intersection of Bee Ridge Road and U.S. 41 to build a 4,100-square-foot retail project. The former bank property is just north of Paradise Plaza, which is undergoing a redevelopment of its own.

Representatives from development firm, which creates and owns the real estate for many of the most desirable national retailers including Starbucks, Wawa, Walgreens and Chipotle, said there are no immediate tenants planned for the project. Brightwork recently demolished the former site of El Adobe nearby to develop a Verizon Wireless store.

ECHO Realty LP is also revitalizing other nearby retail space, with construction underway in the former Borders space in Paradise Plaza.

Pier 1 Imports plans to move its store out of the Landings Plaza and open in a portion of the 21,000-square-foot space later this year. Columbus, Ohio-based stylist community firm Salon Lofts will open its second Sarasota location at the beginning of May next to the home decor store.

"It’s really a surprising strong market given its size.” said Brightwork Real Estate Partner Austin Simmons in a recent interview with the Business Observer. "The economy is very strong there and there’s a great breadth and depth of different folks there with lots of different needs that a lot of retailers can serve.”

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