By MARK ALBRIGHT
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 2001
What is it? A 1.26-million-square-foot upscale shopping mall that includes an outdoor restaurant and shopping area called Bay Street.
When is it open? Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 9:40 a.m. today. Regular store hours will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Restaurant hours vary.
How many retailers are there? The mall will open with 130 to 140 stores and restaurants and 16 retail kiosks. The number depends on how many last-minute, all-night rush jobs are finished before doors open. Leases are signed for 80 percent of the space. That includes 166 stores and restaurants, all of which should be open before Christmas.
What's new to the area? Ninety-six stores and restaurants, including three of the four anchor stores: Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. The fourth anchor is the state's biggest, Dillard's.
How did this week's terrorist tragedy affect the opening? Most celebratory hoopla was dropped in respect to a nation in mourning. So the stores and mall will open with little fanfare. Instead the mall made a donation to the American Red Cross. About 15 stores will not make the opening on Friday because merchandise shipments were stalled in the shutdown of the air transport system.
Who owns the mall? Taubman Centers Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., developed and manages the mall and owns 26 percent of the project. Other principal owners are Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., a Montreal-based real estate investor controlled by five pension funds, and Richard Corbett's Tampa-based Concorde Cos., which secured the long-term land lease from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.
How do you get there? The mall is on Boy Scout Boulevard east of West Shore Boulevard. From Interstate 275 take the Lois Avenue or West Shore Boulevard exit and head north. From Dale Mabry Highway, take Columbus Drive and head west. From the Courtney Campbell Parkway or Veterans Expressway, take State Road 60 to the Spruce Street exit and head east.