Austin mall to add 2 more businesses

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, June 12, 2012

AUSTIN — It’s starting to become habit at Oak Park Mall.

Mall marketing director Shan Kehret has announced two new storefronts coming to the shopping center with a third possible, which would bring the total number of new shops in 2012 to 10. While details aren’t available and neither store has a name yet, one will sell refurbished furniture and the other will have homemade and unique jewelry.

“We just keep gaining,” Kehret said. “The community is becoming more aware of what’s happening at the mall.”

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Over the past 12 months, the mall has gained seven new storefronts — 12 counting the five announced businesses — while only two have closed; Ruby’s Place restaurant in September 2011 and Family Dollar in December 2011.

The mall, which has a total of 47 storefronts, now has 25 occupied. While Kehret — who started at Oak Park Mall about three years ago — said the trend is positive, there is still work to do.

“This is an exciting time for us compared to when I started,” she said.

There has also been a trend toward smaller businesses, as all 12 of the new and announced stores are locally owned.

“We’re still working on getting the chain stores, but right now, the ones who are coming on board are the small business owners,” Kehret said.

One of the other announced stores, DeVriess Boutique, is scheduled to open sometime this month, and Legacy Comics and Games, which is having a soft open this weekend, is preparing for a grand opening June 30.

Kehret said one of the mall’s biggest hindrances — its pothole-riddled parking lot — is also scheduled for repairs this summer. She said the mall’s owner, M H Graff & Associates Inc., is still collecting bids for the project.