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Hobby Lobby coming to Austin?

Craft store applies for sign permit at former Target building

There may be another craft store giant making its home in Austin.

City Administrator Craig Clark confirmed on Monday afternoon that Hobby Lobby had applied for a sign permit at the former Target building located at 1701 18th Ave. NW at the Austin Town Center strip mall.

Citing legal reasons, Clark stated he was unable to give additional details surrounding Hobby Lobby’s potential store location in Austin.

“All I can tell you was that a sign permit was applied for the former Target building,” he said over the phone on Monday afternoon. “The sign permit was for Hobby Lobby.”

Hobby Lobby had listed a position for a co-manager on its company website, giving an Austin address of 1701 18th Ave. NW as its store location, which includes the former Target building. The job posting surfaced on job sharing sites such as Indeed.com.

Austin Daily Herald contacted Hobby Lobby’s corporate office based in Oklahoma, and calls were not returned by press time.

The Target store was closed in January 2015 after being in Austin for 17 years, which affected 82 employees and was one of 11 stores that was closed by the company that year, according to a previous story.

Furniture Mart USA currently owns the former Target building after purchasing the 90,000-square foot building property in December 2017 and is the parent company to a number of brands such as Ashley HomeStore, of which Clark said was still moving forward.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Holly Wallace also told the Austin Daily Herald that the city had received an application for a sign permit on Sept. 4 for an Ashley HomeStore, La-Z-Boy Furniture, and Hobby Lobby.

Clark said there will be an exterior wall constructed to square off the building and a demising wall will also be constructed to create two tenant spaces at the former Target facility.

As far as the timeline of when Hobby Lobby would be coming to Austin, Clark was unable to give more  information and referred to Hobby Lobby’s corporate office for additional information.

“We are excited to see reuse of that space and bringing more retail options for Austin and the broader region,” he added.