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AUSTIN-Two of the biggest building blocks are in place for a new shopping center in northeast Austin. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Lowe’s Discount Home Improvement Centers Inc. have bought parcels for stores on the west side of Interstate 35 between Parmer and Howard Lanes.

The stores are to be part of the Five Oaks Plaza being developed by Trammell Crow Co.’s Austin team. Plans call for a 500,000-sf power center.

Wal-Mart in February bought 23 acres from the Snyder family. Then this week, Trammell Crow bought 48 acres from the Scofield family and simultaneously sold 11 acres to Wal-Mart and 13.69 acres to Lowe’s.

The brokers representing Trammell Crow were Jon Andrus and Bryan Dabbs, senior vice presidents of retail development and leasing at Trammell Crow, and Harry Scott, a senior associate. On the other side, Kent Taylor of Austin’s Taylor Commercial represented the landowner. Gail Whitfield of the Whitfield Co., also of Austin, acted for Lowe’s and Kent Stainback of the Dallas-based Stainback Co. negotiated for Wal-Mart.

Whitfield tells GlobeSt.com that Lowe’s intends to get busy and break ground immediately on its store. The Wilkesboro, NC-based company plans a 150,000-sf store with a 35,000-sf garden center. Lowe’s also is working on a store at MoPac Expressway and Steck Avenue.

“As Parmer Lane becomes a major retail arterial throughout Austin, this project will provide basic, everyday shopping options for this heavily populated part of Austin and Pflugerville,” Andrus said in a release about the sale.

Crow’s brokers did not return telephone calls nor did Wal-Mart’s representative. Crow is paying to move an exit ramp from I-35 to make it more convenient for motorists to reach the shopping center. It was work that was already planned by the Texas Department of Transportation.

The Tech Ridge shopping center, anchored by an H-E-B grocery store, is on the southeast corner of the I-35-Parmer Lane intersection. Additionally, Seton Healthcare Network is negotiating to buy about 28 acres on the northeast corner of the intersection from Barshop & Oles for a children’s hospital and an associated office building.

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