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by Justine Griffin

Sarasota, FL – In a sign of the caliber of tenants that the developers of the Mall at University Town Center are working to lure, The Cheesecake Factory has tentatively committed to be one of several restaurants at the upscale shopping center when it opens in October 2014.

The Cheesecake Factory would be especially significant for the mall because it is a bellwether merchant — along with the likes of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Crate & Barrel, Apple and others — that have mass appeal and supply cachet to a community.

“Strong restaurant concepts like The Cheesecake Factory can almost become their own untraditional anchors in a mall,” said Jeff Green, president of Phoenix-based retail consultancy Jeff Green Partners. “They can be as central to a property as a department store and fill big spaces.”

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