A year of retailgrowth
Power centers made up most of the Houston area’s new space.
Houston ended 2017 with a strong but slightly lower retail occupancy of 95 percent as developers continued to add shopping centers in the path of residential growth at a measured pace.
The bulk of the new retail space, which amounted to about 2.8 million square feet in 2017, came in the form of large-scale shopping centers along the Grand Parkway, Texas-based Weitzman said in a year-end report.
Developers put up about 20 percent less space than the high of 3.4 million square feet of new and expanded projects in 2016, Weitzman said.
Among the biggest projects, Valley Ranch Town Center, at the Grand Parkway and U.S. 59 in Porter, added a Kroger Marketplace, Burlington Coat Factory, T.J. Maxx, Rack Room Shoes and PetSmart.
Sam’s Club, which opened there less than a year ago, was among the casualties of the chain’s decision to close certain stores nationally amid competition from online shopping. The center will contain more than 1 million square feet of retail space upon completion.
In Richmond, The Market Center at Aliana ushered in the nation’s first next-generation Target store with separate entrances for convenience/ grocery shoppers and leisure shoppers.
The pace of construction is again projected to slow in 2018, Weitzman said. Projects on tap include: Katy Asian Town, a center at Grand Parkway and the Katy Freeway anchored by Houston’s third HMart; new Kroger stores in 336 Marketplace on Loop 336 in Conroe, and Sugar Land’s Village at Riverstone; a Walmart Supercenter in the Crossing at Katy Fulshear center at FM 1093 and FM 1463; and H-E-B stores in the Buffalo Heights mixed-use project, The Heights, Bellaire and Mont Belvieu, east of Houston.
Weitzman tracked multitenant retail centers with at least 25,000 square feet in its report, which pegs the local region’s total inventory of space at 158.1 million square feet.
Redevelopments in urban areas, where land is more scarce, contributed to new and upcoming restaurants and shops from the Heights to EaDo to Bellaire. Notable projects include Heights Mercantile, which added Houston’s first Warby Parker eyeglasses store, and East Village, an industrial redevelopment with Chapman & Kirby and other new restaurants east of downtown.
New and expanding retailers gave new life to shuttered stores in the area. At Home, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, Total Wine & More, Life Time Fitness, Pet Supermarket and Dirt Cheap back-filled space across the local market.
In Richmond, The Market Center at Aliana ushered in a next-generation Target.
East Village, east of downtown, features Chapman & Kirby.