+ Mall at UTC adds second restaurant
Brio Tuscan Grille, an Italian restaurant, is the second confirmed restaurant to occupy the Mall at University Town Center, which is under construction near the intersection of University Parkway and Cattlemen Road.
Brio Tuscan Grille is part of a restaurant group in Ohio that also includes Bravo!, Cucina Italian and Bon Vie Bistro.
It is the second restaurant confirmed for the under-construction, $315 million mall.
Seasons 52, Fresh Grill and Wine Bar, developed by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc., recently became the mall’s first confirmed restaurant.
“Brio Tuscan Grille is a popular dining destination in many of our shopping centers across the country with a terrific Italian menu and great ambience,” said Karen MacDonald, director of communications at
Taubman Centers, which is developing the mall with Benderson Development.
Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and another to-be-named store will anchor the shopping center at University Parkway and Interstate 75, set to open in October 2014.
Brio’s menu offers Northern Italian cuisine, including bruschetta, flatbreads, pasta, steaks, seafood, soups, salads and more. The restaurant also offers a gluten-free menu and a loyalty program called MyBrio Rewards that can be accessed through Apple and Android apps.
The publicly traded company features 90 corporate-owned restaurants in 30 states; it opened in 1999.
The restaurant has 11 locations in Florida, including one at International Plaza in Tampa and Mall at Millenia in Orlando.
+ Manatee director of high schools resigns
Dr. Mary Murray, the Manatee County School District’s executive director of high schools, has resigned to take an education position in Oklahoma.
Murray started work in the executive director role, a new position Superintendent Rick Mills created, July 1.
Before coming to Manatee County, Murray served as the principal of Immokalee High School in Collier County.
“In the short time she has been in Manatee County, Dr. Murray has justified the faith that we placed in her,” Mills said. “Although we are sad to see her go, we thank her for her service and wish her the best in her new position.”
+ KB Home files another lawsuit in Willowbrook case
The developer of Willowbrook, a 272-unit townhome community whose residents have reported moldy living rooms, rotting walls and collapsing balconies, has filed a lawsuit against residents.
KB Home says in the suit, filed Oct. 11 in federal court in Tampa, that Willowbrook residents Andrew Smith and Daniel Koehler have created a website to disparage the company’s name.
The suit says the residents “have improperly used and trafficked in KB Home in the domain name ‘thekbhome.com’ to divert traffic from KB Home, to disparage it, damage its reputation and otherwise cause harm to KB Home.”
The suit also alleges residents William Crismon, Patrick McGettigan and Armando Oyola-Delgado of conspiring to intercept emails between KB Home and DueAll Construction, the contractor hired to repair Willowbrook.
This suit comes after DueAll Construction sued Smith and Oyola-Delgado for defamation in May.
John D. Campo, of Nielsen, Price, Worthy, Campo, P.A. in Gainesville, filed the suit on DueAll Construction’s behalf May 16, in Manatee County Circuit Civil Court.
Smith, a Willowbrook resident since 2006, created and runs a site, thekbhome.com, as a way for homeowners to communicate about their experiences with KB Home.
In April, KB Home filed a lawsuit against the 41 subcontractors with whom it originally contracted to build the homes.
The defendants in that suit include companies in flooring, aluminum, air conditioning, framing and more.
Since August 2012, homeowners in Willowbrook have complained of moldy ceilings, sinking floors and water-damaged walls, among other problems.
Manatee County building officials’ inspections confirmed the problems.
The county reported more than 24 of those homes to be unsafe, and public-health officials urged Willowbrook residents to seek medical attention.
Residents say these problems are the result of faulty building materials, and homeowners have confronted KB Home with protests, letters, social-media campaigns and threats of lawsuits.
Sal Ventimiglia, owner of DueAll Construction, the nearly four-year-old company Willowbrook’s homeowners association selected in October 2012 to make repairs on 51 units, says the company is making steady progress with repairs.
+ Lakewood Ranch promotes community with annual tour
Lakewood Ranch will play host to the 16th annual Tour of Homes Oct. 25 through Nov. 17, as the community showcases 41 model homes within its boundaries.
As part of the tour, the public is encouraged to visit models from each part of the development. Lakewood Ranch information centers are stocked with magazines containing information about models in the tour.
Information centers and models are open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Information centers are located at 6220 University Parkway, Sarasota, and adjacent to Summerfield Park, at 6310 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton.
As of this month, 23,000 people already have visited Lakewood Ranch information centers and model homes this year, said Jimmy Stewart, vice president of sales for LWR Communities, a subsidiary of Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch.
“With the market rebounding, we couldn’t be more pleased than to have the opportunity to showcase 40-plus model homes featuring 15 builders,” Stewart said. “If our sales traffic year to date is any indication, we should experience an unprecedented turnout for this annual event. It’s a great time to showcase Lakewood Ranch as one of America’s premier communities.”
Meetings & agendas
Manatee County School Board Workshop — 3 p.m. Oct. 28, at 215 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
Manatee County School Board Meeting — 5:45 p.m. Oct. 28, at 215 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton