Old University Mall site lands Burlington, Toys R Us. Opens Fall 2013

Press Release: Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), the world’s leading retail real estate company, announced a host of new tenants today for the redeveloped University Town Plaza at the intersection of Davis Highway and Creighton Road in Pensacola.

University Town Plaza, to be completed in November 2013, will be an open air community center and have over 700,000 square feet of total retail and restaurant space and a small amount of office space.

Work on Phase I of the redevelopment began last February after the completion of the demolition of the existing mall. The construction is going well and is on schedule. The existing anchor tenants – JC Penney and Sears – remain and are open for business as the redevelopment work continues. Firestone and Sears Auto Center remain open as well.

The new stores include Academy Sports + Outdoors, Burlington Coat Factory, and Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us. In addition, there will be 30,000 square feet of new, in-line specialty small shops including such familiar names as Famous Footwear, Motherhood Maternity, and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches.

“Residents and tourists alike will have an exciting new destination for retail and dining,” said Candy Carlisle, area director of marketing and business development for Simon Property Group. “We are excited about the retailers that are opening at University Town Plaza and we have strong interest from additional prospective tenants who are eager to locate at the project and look forward to making announcements in the near future.”

Academy Sports + Outdoors will open a 71,000 square foot store next month at University Town Plaza. Academy Sports + Outdoors is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a broad assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel and much more. The new Academy store will employ approximately 150 associates.

“Our existing Pensacola store is moving to a convenient new location where we will continue offering fans our wide selection of sporting goods, outdoor and lifestyle products and services in a newer and larger space,” said John Hay, vice president of real estate and construction for Academy Sports + Outdoors. “We appreciate the support of our Pensacola customers and look forward to remaining an active member of this community.”

University Town Plaza will also offer patrons many exciting dining options including Cheddar’s, which will open in April 2013. Cheddar’s was envisioned by its founders Aubrey Good and Doug Rogers as an inviting and polished neighborhood restaurant offering handmade quality food at exceptional everyday value prices.

Features of the Cheddar’s prototype restaurant includes the following internal finishes – solid granite bar tops, solid cherry butcher block tabletops, and a large fresh water fish tank. Patrons will find an inviting outside presence including functional external gas lanterns, copper awnings and accents, and vintage reclaimed Chicago brick.

Burlington Coat Factory will occupy an anchor position at University Town Plaza with a 67,000 square foot store. Burlington offers brand name merchandise for the entire family and home with savings of up to 65 percent off department store prices every day. The new location will feature the latest trends in ladies’ dresses, suits, sportswear, juniors, accessories, menswear, family footwear and children’s clothing, along with the largest selection of coats in the nation. Burlington Coat Factory will open in September of 2013.

“We are thrilled to open a new Burlington in Pensacola, bringing jobs to the neighborhood and providing residents with a strong value shopping experience,” stated Thomas Kingsbury, president and chief executive officer.

Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us will open a 47,000 square foot store at University Town Plaza in June of 2013. For more than 60 years, Toys “R” Us has been a favorite destination for kids and grown-ups alike with its impressive assortment of toys, games, learning aids, electronics, children’s apparel and juvenile furniture. The store offers a broad selection of unique toys, old favorites and great values under one roof.

Babies “R” Us is the nation’s leading dedicated juvenile products retailer and features a wide selection of products for newborns and infants, including cribs and furniture, car seats, strollers, formula, diapers, bedding, clothing for preemies through size 5T, toys, and plenty of unique gift ideas.

Shoppers will find additional landscaping and lighting in the main parking fields between Sears and JCPenney and new freestanding signage throughout the property.