AUSTIN-Sam’s Club is moving into a big chunk of space at the South Towne Square in the south Austin submarket. The members-only warehouse store is taking the 117,000-sf building abandoned when the Home Improvement Center HQ went out of business.

Sam’s Club, a division of Benton, AR-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is adding enough space to reach 130,000 sf. A fall opening is scheduled. South Towne Square is in the northeast corner of the MoPac Expressway and Texas 290 intersection.

“It’s a huge help (for the center),” Nate Nickerson of Primus LLP, which handles the center’s leasing, tells “But the center’s already strong.” He says retailers in the center are among the highest national performers in their chains. Anchors are Best Buy and Academy Sports. Other retailers include Mattress Firm, Sports Clips, CD Warehouse and Today’s Vision and an Applebee’s and a Serranos restaurant. Nickerson says there are a couple of small spaces available.

The new store will be the third Sam’s Club in Austin. The others are at 9700 N. Capital of Texas Highway and at 5107 S. Interstate 35. Quick & Co. represented Wal-Mart and Primus represented the shopping center.

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