Austin’s retail real estate sector continues its heady pace, with sales rising, consumers clamoring for more stores and tenants discovering rents in some areas have jumped by 10%.

“Strong retailer demand continues to fuel an active shopping center construction pace,” says Herb Weitzman, president of The Weitzman Group of Dallas, who periodically analyzes the retail market. He predicts 1.5 million to 2 million sf of new retail space will be added this year, nearly as much as the 2 million sf that came to market in 1999.

A number of new retailers are coming to the area, analysts say, and others are expanding.Conn’s TV and Appliance is planning several Austin stores and Kohl’s, a mid-priced, freestanding department store chain has plans to open several locations next year, retail sources told Expansions are being undertaken by H-E-B, Albertsons, Randalls, Walgreen’s drugstores and Starbucks, which is aggressively adding to its portfolio.

Such retail activity is one of the reasons that, for most of the past decade including 1999, Austin has posted the highest retail occupancy rates of any major market in Texas. In a continuation of that trend, a midyear analysis shows the Austin market has an overall occupancy of slightly more than the 94% recorded at 1999 year end, according to Weitzman.

“However, several hot areas like the Arboretum are essentially full, Weitzman continues. The occupancies are based on a total market inventory of approximately 23 million sf of multi-tenant shopping center space.

Demand for retail space ensures Austin’s retail rental rates stay at historically high levels, Weitzman says. As of midyear 2000, retailers seeking 1,500 sf to 2,000 sf in class A projects could expect to pay an average of $27 per sf and as much as $35 per sf per year. At midyear 1999, rates were $25 to $30 per sf. Second-generation space rates this year generally range from $15 to $22 per sf. Some older second-generation space was lower – $13 to $15 per sf. Austin piques the interest of local, regional and national retailers because of its economy, which leads the state in job growth. More than 65,000 new jobs have been added this year. Over the next four years, the new job rate is expected to grow an average of 5.2% annually, a marked increase over the US average of 2.4%. Meanwhile, the multi-family market is approximately 97% occupied while the single-family market for new and existing homes is posting double-digit sales and price increases.

“For the remainder of 2000 and beyond, the Austin area retail market should continue to experience steady, positive growth,” says Weitzman.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.