Westfield Group’s Southgate Mall has begun renovations that will transform the indoor mall into an outdoor shopping and nightlife destination.
The Australian-based mall developer announced the mall’s plans for redevelopment in May at the International Council of Shopping Centers Recon Convention in Las Vegas. The mall will add 46,000 square feet of new space to the existing property. Construction was supposed to begin by the end of the year, though plans have been pushed back.
Westfield’s plans for Southgate Mall comes after an announcement by its premiere anchor Saks Fifth Avenue — and possibly others — to leave the Sarasota mall in favor of a new, $315 million enclosed retail hub being developed at Interstate 75 and University Parkway by a joint venture between Taubman Centers Inc. and Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co.
Last year, a New York-based real estate firm O’Connor Capital Partners bought 49.9 percent interest in six of Westfield’s Florida malls in March, a deal that included both Sarasota properties.
The first phase of the multimillion dollar investment at Southgate Mall includes the installation of new travertine tile, upgraded furnishings, fixtures, outdoor landscaping and color scheme, according to a statement by Westfield Group.
This initial phase will also feature refurbished shopper amenities, a new interior trellis system, fountains and new lighting.
“It’s Westfield’s philospohy to continually invest and reinvest in our properties,” said Sam Davidson, district marketing director of Florida for Westfield. “The plan for Westfield Southgate is the perfect model of that commitment. We’re taking a very strong shopping center and adding new elements and energy to enhance its appeal for gulf coast residents, the many domestic and international vistiors as well as for our retail partners that cater to these shoppers.”
The mall’s name will also change, from Southgate Mall to Westfield Siesta Key. Westfield officials claim that “retailer interest in the project remains very high.” The next phases of renovation will include bringing in new chain stores and rebranding the shopping center. Those additions will be announced next year.
Article courtesy of: heraldtribune.com