The area began to see a spike in development in March 2022 after Lovett Industrial broke ground at the southwest corner of Hwy. 249 and the Grand Parkway on its 240-acre Interchange 249 project, including Macy’s, which is moving its distribution center to the property.
At the southeast corner, Floor & Decor opened last fall, and Shell Federal Credit Union is expecting to open in late July or early August. NewQuest Properties is also expecting to break ground on its 65-acre Grand Parkway Town Center in June as of a May 15 email.
“It starts with infrastructure and transportation,” Kelly Violette, the executive director of the Tomball Economic Development Corp., said in an email. “The Grand Parkway and Hwy. 249 have been tremendous assets for businesses in Tomball. Those two thoroughfares create easy access to the entire region.”
Violette said the TEDC expects the economic impact of this intersection to be similar to that of the Tomball Business & Technology Park, which has generated more than $85 million in capital investment and created over 500 jobs since 2015.
“We believe that the developments at the Grand Parkway [and Hwy.] 249 corridor, specifically Interchange 249 and the Grand Parkway Town Center, are great fits for Tomball,” she said.
Retail on the way
The 65-acre, 400,000-square-foot Grand Parkway Town Center at the southwest corner is being developed by NewQuest, which has owned the property for more than 25 years, Community Impact previously reported. Construction was previously slated for February 2023.
“It’s a big regional intersection,” said Andrew Alvis, NewQuest vice president and development partner. “You get a lot of traffic both east-west and north-south; [there is] a ton of growth going north up [Hwy.] 249 and even further up into Magnolia.”
Alvis said the firm expects to break ground in June and begin construction on the development’s utilities and roadways. Pad sites should be completed for tenants this August, with some retail and restaurants beginning to open in late 2024.
Unannounced big-box retailers are anticipated to open in the first or second quarter of 2025, with other confirmed tenants including Gringo’s Tex-Mex, BoomerJack’s, Jersey Mike’s Subs and AT&T, Alvis said. The development can accommodate eight or nine large anchors and around 10 pad sites, alongside other retail.
“I think we have some pretty cool concepts that are coming here,” he said. “And we’re really excited to finally get it off the ground and let the community enjoy it.”
Across Hwy. 249, Palo Duro Commercial Partners and Collum Commercial are developing land on the southeast corner, said Stephen Phiegaru, a managing partner at Palo Duro Commercial Partners. Six acres were sold to Floor & Decor, and another 0.95-acre tract is for sale.
“We’re targeting smaller [quick-service] breakfast, coffee concepts, which we think is probably the highest and best use for that size of tract and [the] location of it,” Phiegaru said.
Meanwhile, a 1.75-acre tract in front of Floor & Decor was sold to Shell Federal Credit Union, Phiegaru said. Nicole Hernandez, the chief administration officer at Shell Federal Credit Union, said the business is aiming for a late July or early August opening.
“We are excited to expand Shell FCU’s footprint and assist additional residents in Harris County,” Hernandez said in an email.
Behind Floor & Decor, a 13,800-square-foot retail center is set to begin construction this summer and finish in the second quarter of 2024. Palo Duro Commercial Partners and Collum Commercial are developing the project, which will have six to eight tenants.
“We’ll be targeting fast-casual restaurants, medical, dental, service-oriented retailers that can service the immediate market right there over by Boudreaux,” Phiegaru said.
Breaking ground in March 2022, construction on Phase 1 of Lovett Industrial’s Interchange 249 project—which is made up of four buildings—was slated to be complete in May, said Seth Flechsig, the senior managing director of the Texas region.
“We are currently assessing our strategy for Phase 2 and which sites to develop next within the park,” Flechsig said in an email. “Our focus will be to add space on the north end of the park [along the Grand Parkway], which would afford potential tenants great highway frontage visibility.”
Flechsig said Building 2 of Phase 1 is 80% leased out, and Lovett Industrial is working to lease out the remaining two buildings.
Phase 1 also includes Macy’s, which is relocating its distribution center, Community Impact previously reported. Macy’s representatives would not provide its opening date.
Adkisson Group Inc. is also working on a roughly 325,000-square-foot building at the northwest corner of this intersection, co-founder and partner Steve Adkisson said via email. He said the development should be completed in mid-August.
“We have had several inquiries from distribution to light manufacturing but have not had anyone sign either to lease or to buy the facility as an end user,” Adkisson said.
In addition to retail and industrial activity, several transportation projects are in the works nearby.
Locally, Harris County Precinct 3’s projects to widen Boudreaux Road from two to four lanes are in the study phase, according to Precinct 3 officials. The first spans from Old Boudreaux Lane to west of Hufsmith-Kohrville Road, and a second segment spans from east of Hufsmith-Kohrville Road to Gleannloch Forest Drive.
The projects will include drainage improvements and signal modifications at the Grand Parkway.
Funded by the precinct, the projects are estimated to cost $13.3 million, although construction timelines have not been announced.
Lovett Industrial also anticipates beginning to work with the county in the third quarter of this year to widen Boudreaux Road in front of Interchange 249.
At the state level, the Texas Department of Transportation is proposing a $111 million widening of the Grand Parkway to six lanes between Hwy. 249 and Holzwarth Road.
“Since [the Grand Parkway] opened to traffic in 2016, traffic volumes have steadily increased,” said Jillian Sanders, who is part of the project team, in an April 18 video presentation. “However, no improvements have been made in the past seven years.”
The Grand Parkway has a D level of service; roads are required to be widened when the road reaches a C or below, Sanders said. D means speed and freedom to maneuver are severely restricted.
To address traffic flow, the widening from Hwy. 249 to Kuykendahl Road is anticipated to begin in early 2024 while the segment from Kuykendahl to Holzwarth roads will begin in early 2025, according to TxDOT.
“Without the ability to move safely and efficiently, development is at risk of stalling,” Violette said. “Road improvements, both the ones currently under construction and the ones planned, will help drive economic growth today and in the future.”