Sawgrass Mills, the mammoth mall in western Broward County where locals and tourists go for bargains and luxury shopping, is expected to grow much more.
Simon, the company that owns the Sunrise property, announced Tuesday plans to add a new venue at the mall — Town Center at Sawgrass, featuring four sit-down restaurants, 25 full-price retailers and a parking deck for 2,000 vehicles.
The mall at 12801 W. Sunrise Blvd. already touts more than 350 local, national and international retailers and has crews on site building 80,000 square feet of space for 30 other restaurants and luxury retailers.
That expansion will be part of The Colonnade Outlets, Sawgrass' open-air promenade of high-end retailers such as Gucci, Versace and Prada. That project is expected to be completed next year.
Construction for the 118,000-square-foot Town Center at Sawgrass is projected to begin in 2017 and be done by fall 2018. The center would be accessible from Flamingo Road and Sunrise Boulevard.
"What Sawgrass is building is the Disney World of shopping," said Cynthia Cohen, president of Miami-based retail consultancy Strategic Mindshare.
Adding sit-down restaurants will help drive traffic to the center and is particularly important in today's retail world because going out and dining is one thing that the Internet cannot replace, Cohen said.
Sawgrass has so many stores and restaurants that people who visit, especially tourists, spend the entire day at the mall, she says. "It's a real destination," Cohen said. "You have something for every shopper."
Sawgrass says last year it welcomed shoppers from more than 100 countries.
The Sunrise mall is at an advantage because it still has space for growth, unlike other malls in the area that may have physical constraints, Cohen said.
Some smaller malls surrounding Sawgrass may not exist 10 years from now, given Sawgrass' growth and popularity, she said.
Aside from the Colonnade's ongoing expansion and Town Center at Sawgrass, Simon also plans "a massive upgrade" next year for The Oasis, another dining, entertainment and retail section of the mall.