Nestled in the middle of South Austin lies Sunset Valley, a quaint town that is most known for their retail scene. This month, I talked with AQUILA Principal and retail guru, Jason Faludi, on why Sunset Valley is so retail-packed and why it’s a good location for both retail and office tenants. He also shares some of his favorite things to do in the area.
Q: There is a lot of retail in this area – why do you think that is?
A: There is high density, traffic counts and demographics. Also, there are no city taxes that are passed through to the tenants. There is a large amount of people that live and work in proximity to Sunset Valley on both sides and you’re near many main arteries – Brodie Lane, William Cannon, and 290. South Austin has just always been more occupied by retail than North Austin.
Q: Would you recommend retail clients to this area?
A: Of course. There is just such a cluster of retail down there that it’s turned into one of the premier south Austin retail nodes. And sales taxes are slightly lower than the rest of Austin.
Q: AQUILA leases a couple of properties in the area, including South Towne Square. What makes this center unique and what attracts tenants?
A: One big thing is that South Towne Square is anchored by Best Buy and Sam’s Club – stores that are both big draws. You also have huge parking fields, a good daytime population and high traffic counts – all great factors that attract retail tenants.
Q: Why would it be advantageous for a company to be located in this area?
A: If it’s retail, there’s plenty of shoppers; it’s easy for them to park, they will pay slightly lower sales tax, and there are so many stores in this area that it’s convenient for them to just go to one area and do all of their shopping. For tenants, the operating expenses would be slightly lower because they don’t have to pay the city sales tax.
For office, there are so many nearby amenities – tons of restaurants, stores and big brand names. There is access to the greenbelt and outdoor trails.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do/place to eat in the area?
On a nice weekend afternoon, one of my favorite things to do is to go to Academy and buy oak logs for my smoker then go over to Spec’s deli and grab a burger and some beer. I go back home, start a fire in the pit and put some ribs on my smoker for dinner.
Q: What would you recommend someone do when in the area?
A: There’s a pretty cool farmers market at the Toney Burger Center on Saturday morning’s. There are so many vendors and they usually have live music. Obviously they could go shopping and then they can take a hike around the greenbelt or on one of the hiking trails in the area.
Photo courtesy of Endeavor, DSW at Sunset Valley Homestead