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Auto parts store slated

Business will locate at former Blockbuster Video

By Tim Ruzek

truzek@postbulletin.com

A northwest Austin commercial building will go from renting movies to selling auto parts, possibly by the end of the year.

O’Reilly Auto Parts, which has about 1,700 stores in 25 states, has purchased the former Blockbuster Video property near Oak Park Mall, company spokesman David Turney said Friday. The deal was finalized a few weeks ago.

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Blockbuster Video closed last year at the standalone building at 1303 18th Ave. N.W.

Details aren’t finalized for the building or property, Turney said, but O’Reilly Auto Parts expects to open this year. The work at the site, however, could take up to nine months, he added.

The store likely will begin with eight to 10 employees, he said, but it could grow to about 20.

Based in Springfield, Mo., O’Reilly Auto Parts sells about half of its inventory to retail customers and the other half to auto businesses, he said.

In Minnesota, O’Reilly has about 50 stores, but in the next two years, it wants to add about another 100 stores in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, Turney said. The growth is related to the company doubling the size of its distribution center in the Twin Cities, he said.

The commercial sector surrounding Oak Park Mall continues to grow, including the recent addition of Long John Silver’s as part of the KFC restaurant.

In early March, Stadheim Jewelers announced it would be moving to a vacant, standalone store just north of the mall, across 18th Avenue.

The store is aiming for a June 1 opening at the former Payless Shoes and Andy’s Liquor store site next to the Applebee’s restaurant.

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