One of the few remaining retail anchors at the former University Mall in Tampa is closing this month.
The Dillard’s clearance center, which was converted from a regular Dillard’s department store in 2008, will close April 28, according to a company spokesperson.
The store, which regularly advertises discounts of up to 65 percent of surplus merchandise from other Dillard’s stores, is offering an additional 50 percent off through the closing.
A Dillard’s spokesperson said the store’s employees have been offered jobs at other stores in the region.
Built in 1974, the mall off Fowler Avenue has undergone significant changes in recent years as it as transformed from a traditional mall property into a 100-plus-acre mixed-use development dubbed RITHM at Uptown.
The project calls for swaths of the mall to be demolished and reconstructed, including the Dillard’s site, which was formerly a Macy’s. Already, several high-profile non-retail tenants have moved in, including Excelsior Prep Charter School of Tampa, rapidly growing digital video production company Vu Technologies and the USF Institute of Applied Engineering.
On the eastern edge of the property, developers are nearing completion on a $65 million apartment complex dubbed the Hub on Campus. A month ago, a 30,000-square-foot former Sears Auto Center building was demolished to make way for a cluster of four office towers and a parking garage. A 200-key Marriott-branded hotel is set to break ground later this year.
The Dillard’s building is set to be demolished by June to make way for a new mall entrance and additional retail, including a Sprouts Farmers Market and a relocated Burlington Coat Factory.
Another remaining anchor tenant, Grand’s, will be vacated and demolished in the coming months to make way for “another very large corporate and residential project,” Christopher Bowen, chief development strategist of developers RD Management, said in an email.
“There is a lot going on, and this is just the early days of what RITHM will become over the next several years,” Bowen said. “Not just in terms of large-scale construction transforming the design and look of the Fowler Avenue corridor, but more importantly, in terms of creating the next great place and opportunity to grow a resilient urban community of dreamers, innovators and doers known as Uptown.”