Can you name five stores in the Hill Country Galleria?
According to a recent survey, many of you that live in the Lake Travis area don’t know — or didn’t know — the retailers located in your own backyard.
In fact, when you were asked for a list of ten retailers you’d like to see in the Hill Country Galleria, three of the ten you named were already there.
You may have seen the article in Community Impact that highlighted some of the shopping habits of Lake Travis area residents. According to research conducted by the owners of Hill Country Galleria, consumers within a 30-minute drive of Bee Cave spent $222 million on food and beverage outside the area in 2014. That means you were probably shopping at Barton Creek Mall, Neiman Marcus Last Call and dining downtown.
But what you might not know is this translates to a revenue loss of more than $3 million to the city of Bee Cave.
Hmmm. So we spend money, but we don’t spend it here. Or at least we didn’t in 2014.
Will a $16m investment to improve the Hill Country Galleria change our spending habits?
As a resident of Lakeway since 2007, I think the Hill Country Galleria has transformed into a terrific family-friendly shopping district over the years. Yes, we’ve seen an ebb and flow of activity (and a few lame stores), but since CALSTRS (and its management firm INVESCO), purchased the Hill Country Galleria in 2014, we’ve seen a nice shift in the right direction.
Today you have a better mix of retailers, dining, fitness and entertainment. In addition to places like Cinemark and Color Me Mine, there’s lots of live entertainment thanks to the HCG’s impressive event schedule. The Lake Travis community looks forward to mall happenings like the Tree Lighting, Snow Days, wine walks, the July 4th festival and live music every weekend. Their online event calendar is always full of in-store news and deals too.
The latest announcement that has Lake Travis’ fashionistas grinning from ear-to-ear is the addition of Swedish-based retailer H&M. This store is expected to open in the fall of 2016 and it will be around 21,000 square feet. Why H&M? It’s the number one retailer Lake Travis area residents have been requesting.
In addition to the new H&M store, you’ll begin to see improvements at Hill Country Galleria like more shade awnings to make shopping more comfy in the hot Texas weather, more benches for seating and changes to the “town square” area that will include food carts for quicker bites and more on-the-go food options.
You’ll also see existing restaurants move to different locations within the mall to create a centralized dining area similar to what you find at The Domain.
All of these improvements are being made based on research INVESCO has been doing locally, which brings us back to our initial question. How many shops can you name?
It’s not always easy to market outdoor shopping areas like Hill Country Galleria because it’s inward-facing. Branding becomes challenging, so you motor on to places you’re familiar with. If you don’t see the signs or hear it word-of-mouth, how would you know the store you’re looking for is right here?
If you’ve been living in the Lake Travis area for a while, you may remember the awareness woes the shops across from Hill Country Galleria (Shops at Galleria) had to contend with prior to getting their signage on 620. (Wait, there’s a Billiard Factory in Bee Cave? Why yes, there is!)
The good news is all of this research will help Hill Country Galleria continue to fine-tune its property, so it appeals to more people.
That being said, we’re curious to hear from you. What stores or restaurants would you like to see in the Hill Country Galleria? And please don’t say Dillards. 😉