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Downtown Austin Trader Joe's Opens Its Doors

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Bill Shaner/flickr
Trader Joe's opened its third store in the Austin area today, this one in the Seaholm development.

Trader Joe’s is opening a new location in downtown Austin today. The popular grocery chain is known for its quirky offerings and laid-back, tropical styling.

The supermarket is going to anchor the retail stores at the multi-million dollar Seaholm development, part of the city’s plan to transform downtown into a mixed residential-commercial district.

“Grocery has been one of the gaps for downtown living, and we see Trader Joe’s as helping fill that gap in addition to the Whole Foods and Royal Blue,” says Fred Evins, a Project Manager at the City of Austin Economic Development Department. “We’d like to see more,” he adds.

The new shop will be right down the street from Whole Foods’ store at 6th and Lamar. That could mean some competition for the Austin-based grocery chain's flagship location. In many cities you can find the two markets in close proximity to each other. According to at least one study, Trader Joe’s takes in twice as much money per square foot of retail space as its Austin-headquartered competitor.  

The city signed an agreement with a consortium of developers in 2008 to repurpose the Seaholm power plant at West Cesar Chavez. Its generators last ran in 1996. Builders have transformed the building into retail and office space, and they’re expected to complete a 280-condominium high-rise tower and a public library next year.

This is the third Trader Joe’s to open its doors in Austin, but the first one downtown. 

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