The Lakeline Mall area has seen plenty of changes lately.
A number of shopping centers have popped up, prompting several well-known retailers to upgrade to newer spaces.
That has left older plazas with gaping holes that need to be filled.
Most notably, Lakeline Market at U.S. 183 and Lakeline Boulevard has been especially popular, luring H-E-B, Stein Mart, Michaels and Alamo Drafthouse – all of which had occupied spaces elsewhere in the area.
The moves have left roughly 200,000 square feet of retail space vacant.
H-E-B jettisoned 82,000 square feet at Anderson Mill Center, at 13776 Research Blvd., where an adjacent 37,000-square-foot spot and several smaller spaces have long been vacant.
Across the street, at the Lake Creek Festival shopping center at 13729 Research Blvd., Alamo Drafthouse left 29,000 square feet unoccupied just months after Stein Mart moved, abandoning 34,000 square feet.
Michaels dumped a spot adjacent to the Target at 10900 Lakeline Mall Drive, and the newly rechristened Hub at Research and 45 shopping center, at 13945 Research Blvd., where a multimillion dollar upgrade is under way, has several vacancies, as well.
While that might seem like an awful lot of space to fill, Austin commercial real estate veterans say they fully expect many of the spots to be snapped up very soon.
“This is a strong trade area, and we’re seeing traction in the marketplace from the grocery category, fitness centers and retailers expanding in and into the Austin market,” said Michele Gary, a vice president at the Weitzman Group.
New-to-Austin retailers in recent months have included specialty grocer Trader Joe’s, discount clothing store Burke’s Outlet, Home Goods and Five Below, which caters to teens with an assortment of merchandise priced under $5.
Gary said a number of restaurants are also considering the Lakeline area.
The Austin area has about 20 vacant big-box stores right now – several of them in the Lakeline area – and lease negotiations are already well under way for many of them, according to Gary.
Sites leased for Halloween businesses
Halloween is a very profitable time of year for Austin-area landlords.
Haunted houses and costume shops pop up across the region each year, signing short-term leases – usually for about two months – that help property owners monetize empty storefronts such as those found near Lakeline Mall.
At Highland Mall, House of Torment is set to return to a long-vacant 20,000-square-foot building in the shopping center’s parking lot.
Operators of the haunted house report they’ve signed a new three-year lease for the site, which is owned by Austin Community College.
Founder Daniel McCullough says visitors can expect several new features this year when House of Torment opens Sept. 13.
“We couldn’t be more excited to share what we’ve created this year,” he said. “We really went above and beyond in terms of both production and design.”
Meanwhile, Spirit Halloween, a national costume chain owned by Spencer Gifts, has leased seven Central Texas sites:
- 9333 Research Blvd., Austin
- 13729 N. U.S. 183, Austin
- 1100 Center Ridge Drive, Austin
- 5441 N. Interstate 35, Austin
- 4001 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin
- 109 S. Hasler Blvd., Bastrop
- 2121 N. Mays St, Round Rock
Opening dates haven’t been announced yet.
The express lane …
Gold’s Gym is taking over the spot Barnes and Noble vacated in December in the Village at Westlake shopping center, 701 S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). … Gold’s is about to get some new competition, with another gym chain gearing up to make its Central Texas debut. LA Fitness will occupy a soon-to-be-built 35,000-square-foot building at RM 620 and O’Connor Drive in Round Rock. Construction is expected to start next month. … Jersey Mike’s Subs is celebrating 10 years in the Austin area with three new locations. One is already open at 2700 W. Anderson Lane in North Austin, while two others will open soon in Pflugerville and in Bee Cave at the Hill Country Galleria. … Express has closed its location at Highland Mall. … Whole Foods has announced its store in the Gateway shopping center will remain open when a new, larger location opens Jan. 15 at the Domain, just 3 miles away. Initially the Gateway store had been slated to close.