Mall at University Town Center Includes “Must-Have Amenities”


Mall at University Town Center custom play area

“Beyond the stores and restaurants, over half of which are unique to the market, our visitors enjoy the innovative amenities and conveniences made possible by our community partners,” says Kimberly Dominguez, marketing and sponsorship director with University Town Center. The brand-new mall includes a PLAYTIME indoor play area, sponsored by a local hospital.

Located in Sarasota, FL, The Mall at University Town Center opened October 16, 2014. Prior to its opening, the Sarasota market was “under-retailed,” explains General Manager Octavio Ortiz.Mall-at-university-town-center-2-705x705

“Residents of Sarasota used to have to drive to other locations to find the retailers that they sought,” says Ortiz. “Once we developed the Mall at University Town Center, we filled a void, bringing over 100 retailers and restaurants to the area, over half of which are new to the Sarasota market.”

The new shopping destination also includes a PLAYTIME-created play area, which Ortiz says was a “must-have” amenity from the beginning of the center’s development.


“We were going to do a play area no matter what,” says Ortiz. “Securing a sponsor and having PLAYTIME’s help assured that it would be a special creation.”

Sponsored by Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, the custom, branded play area includes an aquatic theme. All of the characters and elements in the play area are branded with the medical center’s logo and are wearing doctor’s scrubs or medical equipment.


“The hospital wanted to help kids understand that going to the doctor does not have to be scary,” says Ortiz. “They want kids to feel comfortable when going to the doctor. The play area helps to take the edge off of a potentially stressful experience.

Ortiz says the play area also helps parents manage children during shopping trips.


“It’s important to have something for younger kids to do,” he explains. “The play area can extend a family’s stay and give parents a respite from shopping without having to leave the mall.”