Several master-planned communities in Cy-Fair have major retail projects in the works as residential growth continues to drive development into the Houston suburbs.
Developers with Bridgeland—the largest master-planned community in Cy-Fair—are planning the community’s first retail project and have long-term plans to establish a downtown area with more retail.
“We always wanted to live, work, learn and play in our communities,” said Alex Sutton with Howard Hughes, the developer behind Bridgeland. “That’s the model we’ve found to be successful and the one we continue to export. You’re going to find Bridgeland as a home town, just as we’ve established The Woodlands as a home town.”
But Bridgeland is not the only master-planned community with retail projects underway. Towne Lake is working on developing its Boardwalk, more tenants are coming to Fairfield Towne Center and Cypress Creek Lakes has a town center on the horizon.
Lakeland Village Center
Construction on the Lakeland Village Center—a town center along Fry Road in Lakeland Village—is expected to start in about six months, Sutton said.
The center is being designed with Texas architectural styles that fit with the rest of Lakeland Village, Sutton said. It will offer a total of about 85,000 square feet in retail.
“The plan is still changing right now,” Sutton said. “We’re first working on getting a pharmacy store on board as an anchor, then we’ll move onto construction on the rest of the site. We could have several pad sites for restaurants and banks, some retail and some office space.”
Residential growth is on tap for Lakeland Village with the new Hidden Creek community opening this summer and eventually providing another 1,000 homes. Plans for developing a downtown in Bridgeland with a linear grid street layout are included in the community’s master plan, but it will come after work progresses on the three remaining neighborhoods—Parkland Village, Prairieland Village and Creekland Village—Sutton said.
Lakeland Heights resident Calvin Fudge said he is looking forward to having restaurants and retail in the area, noting that other communities are ahead in adding retail.
“We’ve only been living here for a year but we’ve been waiting for the progress,” he said. “We assume [Howard Hughes] wants to make it higher quality and get the right tenants. We don’t want indiscriminate strip centers with no sense of community.”
Several communities with retail projects underway are also including office developments. Towne Lake plans to break ground on its Boardwalk in July, which developers envision as a mix of retail, recreation and professional office space.
“We wanted to take advantage of the asset that we had with the lake,” said Peter Barnhart, a development partner with Caldwell Companies. “It’s a center that will be accessible by both land and water. The office space helps us bring jobs to the people.”
The scope includes a 120,000-square-foot Kroger opening in August at the southwest corner of Barker Cypress and Tuckerton roads and 90,000 square feet of waterfront development north of Tuckerton. Bank of America recently opened. McDonald’s and Unleashed by Petco are coming soon. Boardwalk tenants being targeted include doctor and dentist offices and CPA firms.
Fairfield Town Center
Located along Hwy. 290, the upcoming Fairfield Towne Center is also positioned to take advantage of the influx of traffic expected to come from the Grand Parkway.
The center’s design involves several restaurants and banks—including Chick-fil-A, Bank of America, Chase and McDonald’s—to be built up against the frontage road along Hwy. 290. Behind them, a mixture of retail and anchor stores will fill the space between H-E-B and the Premium Outlet Malls. Construction on the center is expected to be complete in 2015.
Brian Roberts, president of the Fairfield Homeowners Association, said he understands some resident concerns about the traffic and crowds that come with development, but said this sort of development is inevitable, and the location of the center at the front of the community significantly reduces those consequences.
Cypress Creek Lakes
New-home community Cypress Creek Lakes saw the opening of the 30,000-square-foot Shops at Cypress Creek Lakes retail center at the end of last year, and plans are in the works for a 90-acre Town Center mixed-use project.
The Shops at Cypress Creek Lakes features mainly small retail and service providers. The Cypress Creek Lakes Town Center will feature 80 acres of commercial development, including 15 acres which have already been sold to H-E-B, said Randy Corson with developer Mischer Investments. H-E-B will start construction in November at the northeast corner of Tuckerton and Fry roads with a tenative opening for summer 2015. Plans for the rest of the center are still being finalized.
The rise in retail projects can be seen as playing catch up with the residential growth, Corson said.
“There’s a big demand for retail and medical from people who live in this area south of Hwy. 290,” he said. “We want to give the market what it demands.”