Spurred by the opening of the Grand Parkway segments F-1, F-2 and G in early 2016 and subsequent residential growth, developers are working to complete a slew of new retail centers across Spring and Klein.
While the segments of the Grand Parkway opening—connecting Hwy. 290 to Hwy 59—has created growth at its main intersections, it has also been a driver of business activity deeper in the region, said Barbara Thomason, the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce president.
“The surge of retail and restaurants is not a strong driver of economic activity; rather it is more an effect resulting from other factors,” Thomason said. “The rule is ‘retail follows rooftops,’ and the rooftops of residential development are coming as well.”
According to a 2016 report prepared by Population and Survey Analysis for Klein ISD, the number of new housing units projected for construction between October 2016 and October 2017 will grow from 746 to 2,245 units, and more than 2,000 units are projected for each year until 2023.
Laurel Creek, Springwoods Village and Shadow Creek Estates are among the subdivisions expected to see the largest population growth, according to the report.
Eric Walker, managing partner with developer Capital Retail Properties, said the construction and opening of the Grand Parkway has brought new opportunities for business growth in Spring and Klein. Capital Retail Properties has several properties under construction in the area, including near the Grand Parkway.
“The amount of new growth and quality of houses—it’s what most developers are looking for; the Grand Parkway opened up many new intersections that people are chasing,” he said.
Value and convenience
Leading the growth around new intersections created by the Grand Parkway are Grand Parkway Marketplace I and II at Stuebner Airline and Kuykendahl roads. Grand Parkway Marketplace I is slated to be fully open by the end of 2017, said Rob Nadler, president of Kimco Realty, which is developing the properties.
“The overall vision was to provide the community a first-class shopping experience that offers a multitude of value, convenience and entertainment choices by combining best-in-class retailers with a restaurant village setting,” Nadler said.
A grand-opening ceremony for Grand Parkway Marketplace I is planned for June 10, at which time 20 tenants will be open for business, including Target, Michaels, Burlington, DSW, Ulta, Five Below and Famous Footwear. The first phase of the project is 80 percent leased, and 21 of 45 tenant spaces are still available.
Grand Parkway Marketplace II will accommodate about 30 to 35 tenants when it is complete in 2018.
A variety of stores have already signed on to open in the shopping center, including Hobby Lobby and Academy Sports+Outdoors. The mix of retail stores and restaurants in the center has garnered positive feedback from the community, according to Kimco Realty officials.
The Grand Parkway Town Center will also open nearby in 2018 at Hwy. 249 and the Grand Parkway in Tomball, with a Kroger Marketplace and 115,000 square feet of retail space. Confirmed tenants include First Choice Emergency Room, The UPS Store and Akashi Asian Fusion restaurant.
Not all growth in the area is occurring along the Grand Parkway. The Vintage Park area at Hwy. 249 and Louetta Road is also experiencing a wave of development. New restaurants announced for the area this year include the popular Austin-based hamburger bar Hopdoddy, which opened in April, and Houston eatery Ruggles Green, which will open in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Dunhill Partners took over ownership of the Vintage Park development at Louetta Road and Hwy. 249 from Interfin in 2012 when the center was about 27 percent occupied, said Ben White, vice president of leasing at Dunhill. The company has since increased the center’s occupancy rate to 95 percent.
Because of the state of the economy at the time, Vintage Park was not an attractive site for large, national retailers, which made it a good destination for the small boutiques and local businesses it houses today, White said.
“The boutiques we had coming in were strong performers, and we knew with the entrepreneurship and caliber of tenant we already had that [Vintage Park] would be a good home for those types of tenants,” he said.
Vintage Park’s newest tenant is Hopdoddy Burger Bar, which is the Austin chain’s third Houston area location. The restaurant opened April 25. Longtime tenants like Peli Peli, an African fusion restaurant, and Mexican eatery El Tiempo continue to perform well and attract large crowds, White said.
Vintage Marketplace, a Read King development at Cutten and Louetta roads in The Vintage, is now completely leased, said Read King Marketing Coordinator Sarah Dodds. New tenants include U’Maki Sushi Burrito, which will be open by the end of May.
Retail and restaurant development continues in Springwoods Village, where the Regency Centers Corporation plans a fall opening for The Market at Springwoods Village south of the Grand Parkway and west of I-45. Anchored by Kroger Marketplace, the 170,000-square-foot shopping center should be completed in fall 2017, according to Springwoods Village developer CDC Houston.
The shopping center will include restaurants, such as Torchy’s Tacos, MOD Pizza and The Big Salad.
In March, CDC Houston and Woodbine Development Corporation broke ground for the Marriott CityPlace at Springwoods Village. The 337-room hotel is being built in CityPlace—a 60-acre mixed-used town center area—and will be completed in November 2018.
Capital Retail Properties has work underway on several properties in the area. Walker said Spring and Klein provide a prime spot for mixed retail and restaurant sites.
“At the end of the day, this whole area has good rooftops—[good] incomes—and people who shop retail well,” he said.
Construction began at the company’s latest venture, The Shops at Spring Village, at Spring Stuebner and Holzwarth roads, in early April, Walker said. The 21,000-square-foot space will be open this fall, and tenants include Dunkin’ Donuts and AT&T. The center is 65 percent leased, and Capital Retail Properties is now focused on bringing in a restaurant to complete the space, Walker said.
Meanwhile, the Shops at Gleannloch Crossing, a retail center across from the new H-E-B at the Grand Parkway and Champion Forest Drive, is under construction, with tenants slated to move in at the end of May, Walker said.
The 50,000-square-foot space will house a Pet Supermarket, Smoothie King, Subway and other businesses. Walker said all shops will be open by late summer.
Progress has been delayed at the company’s Spring Cypress Market location at Spring Cypress and Kuykendahl roads, where movement is on hold until anchor tenant Wal-Mart gives the green light for construction. The site includes 18,000 square feet of retail space and two pad sites.
Brad Sondock, president of Retail Properties Group, which leases space at Cypresswood Drive and Stuebner Airline Road, said he expects most of the region’s present development to center on the Grand Parkway area.
“The Grand Parkway is pulling a lot of the energy of development to it, which will take away from the interior,” Sondock said. “I don’t see anything extensive occurring within the trade area with the exception of Kuykendahl [Road] and Grand Parkway.”