AUSTIN-The opening of two Home Depot Inc.’s stores in Austin this week will be followed in October by three Kohl’s department stores-evidence that the city’s retail sector is in good shape. Two recent surveys have shown that the retail commercial real estate sector is surviving quite nicely in the economic downturn that has hurt the office market.

One of the Home Depot stores is in Bee Cave, about 12 miles west of Austin, and is the community’s first big box retailer. The 130,000-sf store is at 3600 RR 620, just north of Texas 71. The other store is 132,000 sf at 3600 S. Interstate 35 and includes equipment rental. With these stores, Home Depot has six in the Austin metro area.

Kohl’s is on track to open its Austin stores in early October, the chain’s Melissa Watkins tells They are near Lakeline Mall in far northwest Austin, Round Rock and North Austin. The stores will be about 85,584 sf each. Based in Menomonee Falls, WI, the company is aggressively expanding in the western US.

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