University Mall’s owners are getting redeveloping the property into a “research village called Uptown“.
Back in the 1970s, University Mall was the place to be, but it hasn’t been that way for a very long time. Nearly every major anchor store has left, and there are a lot of retail stores that are sitting empty. The retail chain, Sears announced last month that it would be closed at the University location by November. So what are they going to do? The new plans sound pretty awesome!
They are calling it a research village, but right now the ideas are just in the planning stages.
The Idea: The typical “mall” venue will change to more of an open air, multi level project featuring retail, restaurants, and entertainment. The indoor corridors that connect the big boxes to the mall will be knocked down to create pedestrian-friendly streets and outdoor store fronts. The spine of the mall is likely to stay as an artery for the property, offering meeting space and indoor retail space like there is now. Eventually food halls, apartments, high-rises with a lifestyle center, and even a dog park will start to pop up.
Sounds like its going to be a pretty cool area to hang out. I agree, something needs to be done with it. I can’t even remember the last time I was at University Mall.
So, I’m thinking there will be a LOT of opening day sales. Step aside ladies… I have a credit card and I’m not afraid to use it.
UPDATE: University Mall has sent us the following statement regarding the mall’s future redevelopment to Uptown:
“The approximately 100-acre Uptown project will become a multi-story, urban neighborhood development showcasing life sciences and technology research institutes and complexes; retail, placemaking, and recreational opportunities and entertainment; hospitality; education; medical specialties, clinics, and pavilions; corporate offices and co-working spaces; and residential and other related uses. Our local Tampa team led by Chris Bowen, RD Management’s Chief Development Strategist, is working day-in and day-out on site and is fully committed to the property’s transformation from a traditional, enclosed mall into a vibrant, mixed-use city center. As part of the mall’s revitalization, it is our intention to include all existing tenants and incorporate many of the property’s current structures, including the parking garage, into the final product. Our existing tenants have served the Tampa community for years and will undoubtedly continue to add value alongside new businesses. We look forward to sharing new exciting announcements on Uptown in the coming months.” – Richard Birdoff, Principal and President of RD Management