Sep 05, 2023

AutoZone coming to Hays

Posted Sep 05, 2023 10:01 AM
Photo by James Bell/Hays Post
Photo by James Bell/Hays Post

Hays Post

Area residents will soon have another option for their auto parts and accessories with the planned opening of an AutoZone location in Hays.

The store has signed an agreement with Big Creek Crossing to lease an outbuilding that had been the home of the Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County ReStore for several years. Previously, the building was the long-time location for G&L Tire, now at 201 E. Eighth.

The building originally was a part of the shopping center’s JCPenney location, said Big Creek Crossing property manager James Younger.

He said AutoZone will control the entire outbuilding and be responsible for renovation, but the shopping center will retain ownership.

“Their plan is to remodel the building,” Younger said.

That remodel will include interior and exterior work, including the removal of the canopy and a redesigned parking area.

Younger said he expected work to begin in the next 30 to 60 days.

“There have been engineers and architects, things of that nature, that have already been showing up over there, kind of poking around the building,” he said. “So, we imagine that we'll see something pretty quick.”

Photo by James Bell/Hays Post
Photo by James Bell/Hays Post

Younger also said he expected an opening in late 2023 or early 2024.

Big Creek Crossing marketing manager Branson Hoffman said he thinks the addition of AutoZone will help diversify the center’s shopping experience.

“We're excited about that,” he said.

While there are already several similar automotive stores in Hays, Younger said AutoZone will complement those locations with a more regional focus.

“AutoZone has their own logistical things that they run that they look at. They find Hays to be a very viable location,” Younger said. “A lot of people don't know that these parts stores are in town. They are just looking at Hays on a consumer level.”

“On a commercial side of things where you're supplying independent auto shops here, they can supply obviously shops over in Ellis. They can supply shops in Victoria, down to even like Schoenchen, the La Crosse area and on up into Plainville. So, when these auto parts stores come in here, they're obviously thinking about more of like a regional reach.”

Photo by James Bell/Hays Post
Photo by James Bell/Hays Post

A mall reimagined

As shopping trends change, Big Creek Crossing has worked to embrace those desires of shoppers, morphing the building to include more exterior store entrances rather than ones inside the main corridors.

Adapting the building has allowed the center to utilize more space.

“By total (gross leasable area), I think we're definitely going to be up towards like 90ish percent,” Younger said. “We're definitely up there.”

More changes to the facility are planned in the coming years.

“Priority No. 1 in our company is to lease space,” Younger said. “Looking forward to where we're going to go from here, there are going to be major changes that will come along.”

“This is genuinely what tenants want, and this is what we're doing to make it happen.”