AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nau’s Enfield Drug opened its doors in 1951, but after decades of serving Austin, the iconic business will close. The family who runs Nau’s said their lease was not renewed by the landlord, and they will have to close in March.
Manager Laura Labay, whose parents took over the business in the 70s, said during the pandemic they faced a number of challenges, but she said that’s not what led to the store closing.
“I was told that our lease would not be renewed, and that they had made the decision to sell the building and this entire parcel,” said Labay.
Some longtime customers wondered what would go into the space. Could it be a development or a mixed-use space?
“I hope that doesn’t happen on this corner,” said Hubert Gill, who has been a customer for years. “I would like to see it stay local if it could, but I don’t know what the plans are.”
Labay said she wishes she owned the property, but since she doesn’t she will have to move on.
“Without owning your real estate, you have to be prepared to make a transition,” said Labay.
Developers are buying up properties around Austin and looking to make money off the properties they own. Sid Anderson, associate professor of marketing at Texas State University, said some lots with single story buildings could turn into multi-level buildings in the future.
“The property here in Austin is so expensive that anything that is single story doesn’t really have the ability to make it,” said Anderson.
With a mixed-use space, the property owner can make more money, Anderson said.
“I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot more of the local Austin businesses affected,” said Labay.
It is still unclear what will go into the space next.
Labay said they have to be out by March, but she is looking into possibly moving to another location in time.