The corridor between Lakeline Mall Drive and SH 45 has seen development increase in the past 24 months, creating a rise in commercial occupancy rates and potential construction of new businesses.

The boom followed the November 2006 opening of SH 45 and the March 2007 opening of Toll 183A.

David Simmonds, principal at Lakeline Mall Plaza manager Retail Solutions, said the area is perfectly situated for potential customers who pass through from Central Texas.

“When [SH] 45 was put in, for the first time people from Round Rock had a highway that went directly to a mall,” Simmonds said, referring to Lakeline Mall. “To the north you have Cedar Park and Leander. To the west you have Four Points and Steiner Ranch and Lakeway. To the east, Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto. … [The intersection is] now a core market for Austin.”

The junction serves as a main thoroughfare for Austin, Cedar Park and Round Rock drivers. New commercial retail and residential development is underway in the area, including Sam’s Club, which opened in April, and luxury apartment complex LIV Whitestone, which is expected to complete 340 units in early June.

New businesses are also filling vacancies that have been empty for months at The Hub at Research & 45 and Lakeline Mall Plaza centers, such as a Total Wine & More store that will open by summer in a 38,000-square-foot space that sat empty for about eight years.

Meanwhile, commercial landowners are eyeing sites along the westbound SH 45 access road and North Lake Creek Parkway. Buyers are drawn to the area’s dense mix of living spaces and businesses, said Austin McWilliams, senior vice president of one landowner’s representative, JLL Retail.

“The Lakeline trade area is a mature market,” McWilliams said. “However, in the last 24 months [the area] has seen further development due to its unique characteristics—regional intersection, dense residential [and] office populations, mature retail development and [increasing] land available for development.”