Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune and our new "Upscale" Mall - who needs it? (Evidently the H-T does).

According to our local newspaper ( the Sarasota Herald-Tribune)  we are supposed to be breathless with excitement as we await the opening of a new  "upscale" mall in Sarasota later this week.

The unimaginatively named "University Town Center"  is the first new mall to be built in these United States since 2012  (now ain't that something?").

It has cost $350 million dollars to build, it covers 888,000 square feet  (about 73 acres), and it will have some 4,000 parking spaces.

The paper has been giving UTC much free advertising during the recent few weeks under the guise of "news reports".  Message from Mall Developers  to Newspaper:  "You scratch our back and we will scratch yours".

The Mall is situated in an already crowded area, with four other shopping plazas, and a multitude of pricey and soul-less  residential communities.   (Siberia with  nice lawns, fancy street lights, and golf courses).

As for the Mall itself -  well, it's not designed for ordinary folks. It will serve the wealthy professionals and retirees who have money to spare on over-priced merchandise and fancy baubles.

And as for the developers and the County planners they have created a Mall next to  an already log-jammed exit from Interstate 75 (exit 213), and only now have they genuflected before the Florida Department of Transportation, which has miraculously found $83 million to "improve" the intersection. That work will not begin until July of 2015, and the project will take two years.  (Big business leeches tax dollars).

The editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune wrote the following inelegant and sarcastic bit of "mall puffery" in today's paper.

(Mr. Church "knows which side his bread is buttered", OR "he who pays the piper calls the tune".)

He shows a total unawareness of the very many folks in Sarasota County who are just "getting-by", or who live in poverty. They, for sure, will not be flocking to this upscale monstrosity. Nor will I.

Nor has he a word to say about the entirely deleterious damage to the environment ( increased air pollution, wasteful use of water, reduction of habitat for birds, beasts, snakes, bees and necessary insects  -   the list goes on ) which will be the inevitable result of such unsustainable development.

Of course that is to be expected when the editor of any  newspaper is a salesman and not a journalist.

"Come back Ida Tarbell".


By a quirky coincidence I note that the ugly "Cribbs Causeway Mall" in my home City of Bristol, UK  is about to undergo a major expansion, with all the same disregarded issues of traffic and damage to the environment which we will see in Sarasota.

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