from Impact News
Retail growth is following new mobility options as Cypress pushes farther west with the opening of the new Grand Parkway Segment E. New retail developments are in the works or planned for the Fry Road corridor south of Hwy. 290, in addition to the upcoming Boardwalk at Towne Lake project in development by Caldwell Companies.
“When I arrived in Cypress there were barely any retail stores or store fonts, and now it is like gangbusters,” said Rich Guderyon, branch manager for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene. “We still have a tremendous amount of area to build and grow with, and our infrastructure is getting better with the Hwy. 290 expansion and the Grand Parkway. It lends itself to a lot of possibilities moving down the road.”
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate opened its second Cypress location in December inside the Shops at Cypress Creek Lakes—a 30,000-square-foot retail center on Fry Road developed by Hunington Properties and Mischer Development.
“We’re really excited about the new location and feel like we are ahead of the game in regards to our positioning in the area,” Guderyon said. “The east side of Hwy. 290 is saturated with as much construction as it can almost handle, so that lends the west side of 290 open and prime for us as real estate grows in the area.”
New retail growth typically follows housing demand and growth, which has been ongoing for the latter part of the last decade in Cypress, said Alex Makris, vice president of retail brokerage services for CBRE.
“Retail always follows rooftops, and Cypress has become one of the more affluent communities in Houston, similar to what Cinco Ranch and The Woodlands were like when they started growing,” he said.
The draw for retailers has become more pronounced lately along Fry Road south of Hwy. 290.
“There’s quite a bit of retail on the north side, but momentum is starting to build going south on Fry Road where you have several large master-planned communities,” said Peter Houghton, vice president of master-planned communities for Howard Hughes, which owns Bridgeland.
One of the reasons the southwest portion of Cypress has not developed as quickly is because there were not roads to get out there, Caldwell Companies development partner Peter Barnhart said.
“Now the completion of Segment E opens that area up,” he said.
Located just off Fry Road on the way to the Grand Parkway, several new businesses are planned for House Hahl Road, including the House Hahl Center project, managed by BD Realty Advisors.
“We’ve got a physical therapy group going in there with a training field for soccer, basketball and volleyball,” principal partner Don Skipton said. “We’re also looking at a day care, hair salon and restaurant.”
Bridgeland and Towne Lake
Work is set to begin soon on Lakeland Village Center, the first retail component in the master-planned community of Bridgeland. The center will be on Fry Road across from Cypress Ranch High School.
“We are very close to finalizing an anchor tenant for that center in the next 30 to 45 days, and assuming that happens we’ll start construction in the second quarter of this year,” Houghton said.
The first phase of the center includes 32,000 square feet of proposed retail space and 30,000 square feet of proposed professional office space. The town center—a larger mixed-use concept that will bisect the Grand Parkway—will develop over a series of decades. The first phase of the larger development is expected to begin in the next three to four years.
The master-planned community of Towne Lake is primed for retail growth as well with a 120,000-square-foot Kroger scheduled to open in June at the southwest corner of Tuckerton and Barker Cypress. A new Bank of America and McDonalds are also under construction in front of the new grocery store, Barnhart said.
Plans for the Boardwalk at Towne Lake project—a waterfront mixed-use development with retail, dining and office space—are also moving forward.
“We have 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurants in the first phase that we are actively leasing and plan to begin construction on around the end of April,” Barnhart said. “We are working with five or six restaurateurs to bring some neat concepts to the Cypress area.”
Overall, there has to be a little patience with regard to retail growth in the Cypress area, Houghton said.
“It will come, but we need to see continued residential development that supplies demand for retail centers first,” he said. “It’s a bit of a chicken/egg scenario—you don’t get retail until you have consumers to shop there. Everyone wants nice restaurants and stores that deliver more than just the basic convenience, and those will come in time because we have a fantastic group of master-planned communities that will continue to supply shoppers.”
When Segment E of the Grand Parkway opened in late December, it opened up a new landscape for developers, which is just expected to expand more in the coming years.
“It’s great to have [the Grand Parkway] open from I-10 to Hwy. 290, but I think there will be a quantum leap in interest of that area once it goes to Hwy. 59 and connects to I-45 and the new ExxonMobil campus and airport,” Houghton said.
Randy Corson, vice president of residential development for Mischer—developer of the Shops at Cypress Creek Lakes and master-planned community Cypress Creek Lakes—said he expects new retail projects will continue to develop in Cypress, especially as the master-planned communities continue their build-out.
“If you look at the major epicenters across town—The Woodlands, Cinco Ranch and similar areas—homes bring the retail,” he said. “It takes a few years to get the big retail after the housing comes in, but I think in the next five to 10 years you’ll see a lot of major retail coming in along Fry Road and the Grand Parkway in the various town centers.”