Sawgrass Mills
Us.Info | 2012-10-17 15:32

Sawgrass Mills is a shopping mall operated by the Simon Property Group, in Sunrise, Florida, a city in Broward County. With 2,383,906 square feet (221,472.1 m2) of retail selling space,[1] it is the sixth largest mall in the United States, and the second largest in Florida. The mall opened in 1990 as the third mall developed by the now-defunct Mills Corporation (now part of Simon Property Group), and has been expanded three times since then, most recently in 2006. There are over 300 retail outlets and name brand discounters, with anchors including Off 5th, J.C. Penney Outlet, andSuper Target.
Because of its size, Sawgrass Mills is divided into three parts: the mall itself with four "Avenue" sections; the "Oasis", an outdoor component open since 1999 including Regal 23 Cinemas, Ron Jon Surf Shop, and Nordstrom Rack. The "Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass" opened in 2006 as an upscale lifestyle area with shops and restaurants, anchored by Last Call! Neiman Marcus. Additionally, there are numerous "outparcel" stores and plazas.
The Phase I mall was dedicated in two stages. The first opened October 4, 1990 with the BrandsMart USA/Sears Outlet wing at the eastern end, extending past the Garden Food Court (next to Bealls, previously the Hurricane Food Court), to theBooks-A-Million store at the western end of the mall. A second stage, dedicated November 15, 1990, extended the mall westward of the Books-A-Million store, past the second food court, the Market Food Court (next to The Sports Authority, previously the Sports Food Court) to theMarshalls/Spiegel Outlet (now Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center) wing. A Target Greatland was added to the East Wing of the mall, opening in March 1992. It was expanded into a SuperTarget-format store in mid-2006. Phar-Mor was another early anchor to the mall.[2]
A Phase II addition, known as Veranda Main Street, opened November 14, 1995. It ran parallel to the middle mall corridor and contained T.J. Maxx, Service Merchandise and the first location of Last Call From Neiman Marcus. This section is currently anchored by American Signature Furniture (in the old Service Merchandise space). This expansion was followed by The Oasis extension, opened April 15, 1999. It brought the mall out from near Burlington Coat Factory to the then Cobb Cinemas Sawgrass. A parking garage was added in 2002 directly across the outside entrance to Burlington Coat Factory. The last addition was the extension from Wannado City out to and including The Colonnade Outlet, which was completed by 2009.
Originally, the concourses had names and each turn was considered a rotunda or court and named for the style of stores it contained. The original mall concourses (running west to east) were Modern Main Street, Mediterannean Main Street, Art Deco Main Street and Caribbean Main Street. The courts were (running west to east) Entertainment Court, Cabana Court, Video Court, Rotunda Court and New Ideas Court. This proved harder to keep in effect as anchors and internal stores changed. Later, Mall Entrances were named after the parking lot areas, i.e., Yellow Toucan, Green Toad, Purple Parrot, White Seahorse, Red Snapper, Blue Dolphin, Pink Flamingo and New Ideas Court. In the mid 2000's, inspired by rival Dolphin Mall in Miami, the mall transitioned into the current "Avenues" sections.
There was a kid's animatronic display in the Cabana Court, between Books-A-Million and the Rainforest Cafe, featuring singing flamingos and alligators welcoming the public to Sawgrass Mills. It was set up like a swamp and allowed people to toss coins into the shallow water which were donated to local charities. It was later converted to a waiting area designed after a ship, still with alligators, and then into the current Cha Cha's playground.
Local retailer L. Luria & Sons was slated to open an anchor at Sawgrass Mills.[2] A lawsuit ensued when catalog showroom chain Service Merchandise opened instead, as the Luria company blamed Mills Corporation for choosing Service Merchandise instead.[3]
On January 24, 2011, JCPenney announced it will close all 19 JCPenney outlets due to the outlet concept exit, including the Sawgrass Mills location, which is scheduled to close on July 2nd.
A few days before JCPenney Outlet was to close, the parent company announced that they will hold on to the space for the time being and keep the outlet store open. This followed an announcement by The Mills Corp. that Sawgrass Mills mall will expand with a new 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) addition to be built to the east of Il Vilagio restaurant and the previously shuttered Wannado City kids' amusement will be converted into more stores.
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