Beyond new stores galore, Publix reopen is nearing
By Jane Bartnett
The rapid transformation and growth of the 150,000-square-foot shopping center known as The Landings continues. As 2022 comes to a close, nine new businesses will toast the new year at their new Landings locations. Plans are also in place to add trellises of blooming bougainvillea at entryways and a new outdoor green space.
The center is located at 4910 S. Tamiami Trail.
In early January, the long-awaited renovation of the 48,000-square-foot Publix store is expected to be completed, according to Lance Hood of J. Raymond Construction. Hood is the superintendent of the Publix Landings project. He reported that supply-chain issues and Hurricane Ian have contributed to the delay in completing the renovation. Reflecting the design of newer Publix stores, the new grocery will feature a pharmacy and a new Publix liquor store that will stand adjacent to the store. The parking area in front of the store is also being repaved and updated.
Last renovated in 2012, the Publix has served as the anchor store for The Landings since 2009.
During the past five years the shopping center has once again become a thriving, lifestyle-driven destination that draws shoppers and diners. Plucked from bankruptcy in 2017 by Benderson Development, the shopping and dining mecca may be one of the strongest real estate retail success stories in Sarasota County.
The rebirth began three months after the developer took it over. Benderson initiated a series of structural renovations and improvements that included facade renovation, new lighting and landscaping. DaRuMa, the popular Japanese steak house, moved in along with Station 400, a breakfast and lunch spot joining original businesses that included Corkscrew Deli, Dollar Tree, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Landings Travel, Nuovo Salon, Optical Outlet, Realty Exec Solutions, Sally Beauty, and the Publix. Although COVID-19 led some tenants to shutter their stores, others took their place.
To date, since 2017 Benderson has added 23 new shops and restaurants. Of those 23, 15 are open and another eight will welcome customers in the coming months.
The new businesses that have joined the center this year include 1800 Barbershop, The Breakfast Company, Crumbl Cookies, Florence and the Spice Boys, Mantra Fitness, Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Café, Pacific Counter, StretchLab, and 3 Natives Acai and Juicery.
As for the former home of the Sweet Tomatoes restaurant, Julie Fanning, Benderson Development’s director of marketing, reports “We have exciting redevelopment plans for the site, which we will share as soon as all the details are confirmed.”
The Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Cafe, known for its classic and specialty pies and baked wings, opened recently. Offering a large selection of craft beers, wings, salads and pizzas that include vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, this family-friendly place also has arcade games. The Landings is Origin’s fourth Sarasota location.
Last month, Florence and the Spice Boys welcomed diners at its new Landings restaurant. The November opening began a new chapter for the once wildly popular Sarasota food truck. Diners will enjoy the signature modern Mediterranean and middle eastern flavors that drew so many followers. The decor will feature a comfortable, brightly decorated, fast-casual setting. Indoor and outdoor seating will overlook a new green-space that is being added to the property.
This month, The Breakfast Company, a popular breakfast and lunch restaurant and bakery, is scheduled to open next door to the new Publix. Dimitri Syros and his mother Terri are the owners of the well-known Bradenton eatery.
“We’ve been looking to expand into Sarasota for some time and The Landings provides a perfect, central location,” said Syros. Hours will be Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Indoor and outdoor seating with pet-friendly tables will be available as well as a communal “pappous” table. The word pappous is Greek for grandfather.
Other inviting food destinations that will open soon include:
Crumbl Cookies: The fastest growing cookie company in the U.S., Crumbl offers more than 200 cookie flavors. The selection changes weekly.
Pacific Counter: Voted Tampa Bay’s best poke bowl restaurant, poke fans will enjoy this “coast-to-counter” eatery and dig into poke bowls, sushi burritos and more.
3 Natives Acai and Juicery: Healthy eating is on the menu at this Florida franchise featuring smoothies, wraps and acai bowls along with other tasty items. All items will be made in-house with locally sourced ingredients.
On the fitness front, two new locations will soon join EosFitness at The Landings:
Mantra Fitness: A boutique studio specializing in the Megaformer workout, Mantra’s 45- minute core, cardio and strength training for women and men, follows the Lagree method of Pilates.
StretchLab offers assisted stretch sessions designed to improve flexibility, enhance movement, reduce pain and improve quality of life.
And, at 1800 Barber, men can drop in for a modern haircut and shaves, all in a classic barbershop setting.