As of year-end 2009, the Austin retail market reported an occupancy rate of approximately 91.5 percent, down approximately 1.5 percent compared to year-end 2008.
NATIONAL CHAIN FAILURES
The largest vacancies in the market were a result of national chain failures including Circuit City (2009), Linens ‘n Things (2008) and Shoe Pavilion (2008) and the the closing of a 50,000-square-foot Sportsman’s Warehouse in Round Rock.
NEW TENANTS FILL VOID
Some of the empty stores didn’t take long to re-tenant. Former Shoe Pavilion stores have been replaced by Austin’s first Buy Buy Baby at the Brodie Lane location, the former Mueller location was leased by Staples and natural food grocer Sprouts Farmers Market took the space at Great Hills Station in the Arboretum.
Linens ‘n Things three vacancies were filled in with Sprouts at the Sunset Valley location, Austin’s first Nordstrom Rack opened at the Arboretum-area location in October 2009 and Newflower
Farmers Market, a specialty grocer will open at The Shops at the Galleria in February 2010.
Other large spaces being back-filled include a former Hobby Lobby at William Cannon and Manchaca, which was leased by for Austin’s first Newflower Natural Grocer which opened in February 2009.
In Round Rock, Goodwill leased 21,400 square feet in a former H-E-B grocery space at FM 79 and I-35 for a retail location.
NEW TO AUSTIN RETAIL MARKET IN 2009 & 2010
New Retail Concepts to the Austin Market include Newflower, Natural Grocer and Sprouts. Natural Grocer, owned by Colorado-based Vitamin Cottage, opened in approximately 10,000 square feet on Guadalupe in the former Rooster Andrews space, and plans additional area locations in 2010. Newflower and Sprouts opened multiple locations in 2009, with more planned for 2010. In addition to the Sunset Valley location, Sprouts also opened stores in Rollingwood and Round Rock.
NEW RETAIL PROJECTS IN 2009
Domain II – 600,000-square-foot expansion of the open-air Domain project that opened in 2007. In 2009 Dick’s Sporting Goods opened an 80,000-square-foot store and in 2010, a 208,000-square-foot Dillard’s department store and an upscale Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas location are set to open. (The next phase of The Domain with Whole Foods, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue has been delayed, with Whole Foods not expected to open until late 2012 or early 2013.)
Kyle Crossing – regional project at the southwest corner of Kyle Parkway and I-35, added a second phase in 2009 with a 133,000-square-foot Target. Kyle Crossing’s first phase opened in 2008 with a 92,000-square-foot Kohl’s Department Store. At the same intersection, a Walgreens and a 103,000-squarefoot Lowe’s opened in 2009.
Stone Hill Town Crossing – 320,000-square-foot center located at the southwest corner of SH-130 and SH-45 in Pflugerville. The center is anchored by a 180,000-square-foot SuperTarget, and also includes a Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bealls, Petco and Office Depot. Home Depot opened at the project in 2008.
Burleson Crossing – regional project in Bastrop that added Best Buy, spirits superstore Spec’s and Carl’s Jr. in 2009 to a Lowe’s that opened in late 2008.
Lowe’s opened a 94,000-square-foot store at 3200 Highway 281 in Marble Falls.
StoneCreek Crossing is a 350,000-square foot regional project in San Marcos that includes a Target, JCPenney, Bealls and Academy Sports & Outdoors. The center is located at the intersection of I-35 and McCarty Lane.
NEW RETAIL PLANNED FOR 2010
One of the most notable is the 98,800-square-foot Walmart at Northcross, which will anchor the redevelopment of the former Northcross Mall and join existing retailers such as Conn’s electronics,Guitar Center and Walgreens. Walmart is currently under construction with this innovative store.
In Dripping Springs, H-E-B grocery is under way with an approximately 68,000-square-foot store at the southeast corner of US-290 and Rob Shelton Road. The store broke ground in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Also in 2010, an Alamo Draft House-anchored project is set to break ground at Slaughter Lane and MoPac (Loop 1).