Carbon-izer Presents Interstate 35 in Williamson County

INTERSTATE 35 IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY

Welcome to the Austin area! I'm afraid that I haven't actually been on this road, but it's here to maintain compatibility with the rest of the site. I also don't have access to the same resources. Version 1.0 is what you see here, I figured I should put some of the heavy hitters. Version 1.1 of this page changes the color scheme and adds Rudy's and (formerly) Mellow Mushroom, both near Old Settlers.

HILL ROAD to LAKEWAY DRIVE / NE INNER LOOP

This part of the road covers Jarrell (fast-growing) and the northern terminus of TX-130. Where Texas 130 intersects was "Live Oaks at Berry Creek RV Park" (not to be confused with Berry Springs RV Park off of Market Street), despite half of the park vanishing with 130's construction, it was abandoned by the late 2010s.

Berry Creek Truck Stop / 3800 N. Interstate 35
This smaller, older truck stop used to be branded as a Mobil until around 2009. It appears to have no other branded gasoline or food options.

LAKEWAY DRIVE to WEST UNIVERSITY AVENUE (TEXAS STATE HIGHWAY 29)

McDonald's / 806 N. Austin Avenue
This McDonald's has a highway-side sign despite being set off from the freeway and opened in 1978 originally (exterior and interior renovations since). It also had the address of 810 N. Austin Avenue at one time.

610 N. Austin Avenue
This building has a few tenants inside of it, notably House of Gainz Gym, DoubleDave's Pizzaworks (since 2016), Golf Ranch, and Mattress One. It was an Albertsons supermarket (#4061) from March 1997 to July 2006, when it was shut down as part of part of the first wave of closures from the newly-reorganized Albertsons LLC.

900 S. IH 35
This was a Wal-Mart from 1989 to 2003, most of it is occupied by Hobby Lobby (Ste. 101) but a tenant on the right side of the building, "Salons of the Town", is located at suite 102. The new "Wal-Mart Supercenter" was built a bit north of this store as its direct replacement. (Walmart keeps store numbers).

H-E-B / 1100 S. I-35
This H-E-B supermarket (#237) is about 63,000 square feet and has been here since 1989.

WEST UNIVERSITY AVENUE (TEXAS STATE HIGHWAY 29) to OLD SETTLERS BOULEVARD

Shell / 958 W. University Avenue
In 2015, this Shell gained the Corner Store branding from a generic Shell branded food mart. Seeing a Corner Store that wasn't a Valero was unusual upon stopping here in 2016, but by that time, Corner Store was independent and had already entered into a merger agreement with Alimentation Couche-Tard. By late 2018, with the marriage consummated, it was branded as a Circle K (the convenience store portion, the gas station is still Shell).

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World / 200 Bass Pro Drive
Bass Pro Shops is part of the mega-popular FM 1431 / University Boulevard shopping area, with an IKEA, a huge outlet mall, and a lot more. The 120,000 square foot store opened in June 2015, and includes the restaurant/bowling alley "Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl & Grill". Here's a bit on the opening of the store.

IKEA / 1 Ikea Way
I visited this IKEA (IKEA Round Rock) not too long after it opened, maybe within a year, and I have the directory stashed someplace as well. I don't know where exactly "Ikea Way" is (the parking lot?) but I visited it when it was in the pre-exanded version, at "only" 252,000 square feet when it opened in November 2006. In 2011-2012 construction on the west side of the building brought it up to 306,000 square feet.

2600 N. Interstate Highway 35
Johnny Carino's (briefly Carino's Italian, as the chain was known for a time) operated here from May 1998 to June 2015, followed by Mellow Mushroom, which operated here from October 2015 to October 2019. As of this writing, it will be renovated into a location of "Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar".

Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q / 2400 N. Interstate Highway 35
This restaurant has a Shell station attached as the "gas station" component of Rudy's (not universal). In addition to the branded gas station component, which usually is self-branded, it actually was built as an ordinary gas station and renovated/expanded into Rudy's in 1999. The gas station appears to have been known as "Hoppe's" from 1993 to 1999, though the original gas brand is unknown, though it was probably a Shell.

OLD SETTLERS BOULEVARD to TEXAS STATE HIGHWAY 45

McDonald's / 310 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
Another highwayside McDonald's shouldn't be that big of an issue, after all, there's another just up at E. Old Settlers Blvd., but this McDonald's can be seen (before the mid-2000s rebuild) here at Vintage Aerials. The strip mall behind it was built later. The place where Sprouts/Office Depot/Tuesday Morning was previously an Albertsons (1997-2006) and Randalls (1993-1997) before that. It was sold to Albertsons with two other stores (Pasadena and College Station, with Pasadena closing before this one and College Station closing after this one), and was built as a Tom Thumb (1988-1989) but there's no clear path to how it became Randalls. What we DO know is that in 1989, Tom Thumb sold some of its better stores to Albertsons (and a partially-built one to H-E-B!), so perhaps this got caught up in the partial sell-off but maintained the lease so that Randalls could reopen it, at least for a few years.

Altitude Trampoline Park / 2800 S. IH-35
Altitude Trampoline Park is one of the main tenants of Crossing Point, a shopping center built at the site of Garden Ridge (#6), which was here from 1994 to 2014 (and did not rebrand to At Home). Like some of Houston's first Garden Ridge stores, this one was also an outlet mall originally.

It is believed that the commercial I uploaded to YouTube from not long after the store opened was of this store, and also appeared to be the first store branded as Garden Ridge (not Garden Ridge Pottery). The Yelp page for the store can be seen here and features not only photos but also the two (smaller) At Home locations that would replace the sprawling 100,000 square feet store.

This concludes our trip through Williamson County's portion of Interstate 35. The adventure continues on here.


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