State of the Art Movie Theater Coming to Four Points


A new luxury theater will be coming soon to The Trails at 620 in the Four Points area. The development will also provide retail space, a 2 mile running trail, and a play scape. They don’t plan to have the cookie cutter look to their storefronts they want them to resemble an “Austin” flavor.

The Trails at 620, located across RR 620 from Concordia University and east of the Grandview Hills neighborhood, broke ground Feb. 12 and will be developed in two phases.

The development was originally planned to break ground in summer 2010, but getting a special permit from the City of Austin to have more than one entrance facing RR 620 took 14 months.

Under construction
Phase 1 is 90 percent leased, with a movie theater, national restaurant chains Whataburger, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Schlotzsky’s and locally owned Flores Mexican Restaurant, which serves Tex-Mex food. Flores Mexican Restaurant’s Four Points location is currently north of the shopping center at 7900 N. RR 620.

Paving of the first phase of The Trails at 620 begins in August and vertical building will begin Sept. 1, weather permitting. Businesses in Phase 1 are expected to begin opening in early 2012 and continue throughout the year.

Dinner and a show
On June 20, the developers announced Galaxy Theatre, an upscale traditional cinema and luxury dinner theater, would be the anchor business for Phase 1, with a 1,500-seat theater within 11 auditoriums on the southwest side of the development. Four of the auditoriums are dubbed Director’s Choice, featuring premium dine-in theaters, which include reserved seating, plush recliners and in-theater food and beverage services. The other seven screens will be general admission. Patrons can also order off an extensive wine, beer and cocktail list in Director’s Choice auditoriums.

“We plan to make Galaxy Theatre at the Trails the first choice in movie entertainment in the Austin area,” Speaks said.

Moviegoers can anticipate watching films at Galaxy as soon as June 2012.

Traffic and competition
While the RR 2222/RR 620 intersection is already bogged down with traffic, the developers do not believe they will be adding to it.

“The traffic in this area is congested to say the least,” Sloan said. “Going north on [RR] 620 is time-consuming and not the most convenient for area residents to go out to eat, to shop or to go to movies. We feel like this will be a good location for a large population.”

Instead of increasing traffic, Speaks believes the development will absorb traffic.

“We think we’re going to pull traffic off the road,” Speaks said. “Because instead of everyone having to drive to Lakeline [Mall] to shop or eat, we’ll pull them off five miles sooner.”

Speaks said a Randalls under construction in Steiner Ranch on RR 620, south of RR 2222, has not affected their building plans. There is also a nearby H-E-B at the RR 620 and RR 2222 intersection.

“The Randalls is strictly a Steiner development,” Speaks said. “And we’re actually a development on [RR] 620 that’s going to pull from a different area.”

Because the Galaxy Theatre in The Trails at 620 will be one of the only theaters serving the West Austin area, Sloan believes people will drive farther to visit the shopping center.

The nearest theater is about four miles away at Regal Lakeline Mall with 1890 Ranch Cinemark in Cedar Park about 10 miles away. However, there are no theaters in Austin to the south or west of the planned Trails at 620, and the closest to the east is about a 10-mile drive to the Arboretum area.

“A theater, just by the nature of it, we feel will be more of a regional draw, because there’s not a theater like it offering the large screen, the dinner theater combinations and reserved seating,” Sloan said.

Phase 2
Edge Realty Partners is preleasing for Phase 2, which will begin construction in late fall at the earliest. Sloan said the development will be more traditional retail with a combination of local and chain stores.

Some of the timing, she said, depends on signing an anchor tenant for the project, most likely a grocery store.

“We would love to have a specialty grocer, pet services, office services and some clothing stores,” Sloan said.

Phase 2 is anticipated to open about a year to a year-and-a-half after Phase 1.

Preserving the land
Of the original 169 acres, about 100 of those were given to Travis County for preservation and about nine more acres were sold to the county for additional preserve, leaving about 60 acres for development.

Because the area is in a sensitive environment, with endangered species in the nearby Canyonlands Preserve, construction must be planned carefully.

“We can’t start Phase 2 until after September because of environmental issues with nesting birds,” Sloan said. “We’ve tried to design [The Trails at 620] to save a maximum number of oak trees and take advantage of the natural terrain.”

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