There’s big news about big retailers coming to the Austin area in 2017. More specifically, our neighbors to the north — Pflugerville and Cedar Park.
If you’ve listened to the rumblings, you may have heard that Costco was coming to the Lake Travis area.
The Hill Country has been dreaming about welcoming a luxury retailer like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus or Neiman’s Last Call or Saks OFF 5th. Do they wanna try a Saks OFF 6th concept? We’re open to that.
And remember when we heard the sad and shocking news that our beloved Nutty Brown Cafe was relocating to — wait for it — Round Rock?
It seems like North Austin is the cool kid wearing Tractr skinny jeans and Lake Travis is the awkward adolescent wearing Hunt Club jorts. What gives?
What’s so great about our polar pals?
The old nope
Will a Coscto or Nordstrom magically materialize somewhere nearby? Sadly, no. According to our research, we don’t see that happening in the near future. It seems our hopes have been dashed.
In 2017, Pflugerville is getting a new Costco and Cedar Park is getting Nordstrom Rack.
Remember the old Star Furniture store in the Arboretum area? Guess who backfilled that 50,000 square foot space in 2016 — Saks OFF 5th.
Hunting for wide open spaces
According to recent stats, Austin closed out 2016 at 96.2 percent retail occupancy. This means there is literally not enough room for new big box retailers.
Places like Target, Costco, and Saks require 22,000 – 70,ooo square feet of space. There’s more Class A, B, and C space available for shops and restaurants. But none of it’s cheap.
While developers are gravitating towards building in Pflugerville and Cedar Park, they’re extremely interested in the Dripping Springs area too. That’s evident with the new Belterra Village development.
The Oaks of Dripping Springs
The new Belterra Village located at the southwest corner of U.S. 290 and Nutty Brown Road is a 93-acre mixed-use development.
And guess what’s going to be in this new retail mecca?
Senior housing, medical offices, hotel, entertainment (a 14-screen movie theater) and retail space. Hmm–that sounds familiar.
In fact, the brochure for Oaks at Lakeway looked identical to Belterra. But I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s a cocktail of Pavlovian conditioning with a twist of master-planned community.
A cute yogurt shop with mod white chairs, a sub shop, something medical-y — so we feel safe — like a vision center, a mattress store, a pet shop, a hip restaurant with the word “fusion” on the menu, an indoor fun zone for the kiddos, and a big liquor store … so we can wash it all down.
Don’t take it personally
So back to the initial question.
What’s attracting certain retailers to North Austin?
Simply put, they have more wiggle room.
Sorry to burst your bubble within a bubble, but we don’t see plans for places like Coscto or Nordstrom to pop up in the Lake Travis area anytime soon.