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Trader Joe's first Austin store to open in Rollingwood, not Seaholm

Trader Joe’s, the popular purveyor of highfalutin foodstuffs held in high regard like Whole Foods Market and Central Market, is ramping up the construction of its first Austin store — just not where we first thought.

When the California-based retailer first announced plans to come to Austin, it was in the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment area, but words comes from the Austin American-Statesman that Rollingwood’s Mira Vista shopping center, near Bee Caves Road and MoPac, has nabbed the rights to construction.

According to the Statesman, Trader Joe’s has filed a building permit application to spend about $450,000 on a 15,133-square foot retail space. And according to city officials, the timeline has been sped up as well: this store, to be constructed in the renovated space formerly occupied by Sprouts, could be open by this summer.

While Trader Joe’s is yet to respond, Rollingwood officials are treating the deal as good done. “They’re moving forward on this pretty quickly,” Rollingwood building official Michael Alexander told the Statesman. “They were eager to get their building permit.”

Why the sudden change of location? We can only speculate, but building in the Seaholm redevelopment has been slow going and getting around that part of town — with that manic circle drive business — is not exactly pleasant.

And of course, the obvious: building within earshot of your main competitor’s monolith-like corporate headquarters seems like a fight with stacked odds.

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