0 Articles
0 News
0 Properties
0 Page
Tomball looks forward to development of 153 acre retail site

Houston-based NewQuest Properties has plans to develop the Grand Parkway Town Center on 63 acres if the 153 tract, which will include retail giant Sam's Club, other major retailers, and restaurants.

Tomball looks forward to development of 153 acre retail site Developers for the proposed Grand Parkway Town Center are expressing cautious optimism that construction will start at the 153-acre site before the middle of this year.  However, significant progress is unlikely to be made until occupants for the two planned anchor sites are signed to leases.  The Grand Parkway Town Center will include 187,010 square feet of retail space and 143,974 square feet of office buildings.  While leases with smaller retailers and restaurants are in various stages of completion, negotiations with the larger anchor retailers are still underway, which is hampering construction.  "We are in great shape, and there has been a ton of activity," said David Meyers, director of leasing for NewQuest Properties. "Until they give us the green light…we won't be able to go into any level of detail (on) who we have."

The Houston-based company has plans to develop the Grand Parkway Town Center on 63 acres of the 153 acre tract, which could include retail giant Sam's Club, a Kroger Marketplace, and other major retailers and restaurants, according to the site plan presented to the city of Tomball last year.  Representatives from both retailers declined to confirm whether or not negotiations were underway to occupy the Grand Parkway Town Center.

"Developers put our name on projects all the time," said Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield. "We have no news in Houston. As much as we are always looking for better ways to serve our customers, we have nothing to report."  Kristal Howard, media relations director for Kroger, also declined to confirm whether or not Kroger intends to occupy one of the anchors sites.  "We are always looking for growth and expansion opportunities," she said. "(We) have no updates to share at this time."  In May, the Tomball City Council approved a strategic partnership agreement to create the Grand Parkway Town Center at the intersection of Texas 249 South, Boudreaux Lane and the Grand Parkway.  The agreement allowed for the city a limited purpose annexation for the development of the 153 acre tract.  The limited purpose annexation allows the city to collect 2-cents in sales tax revenue from any businesses developed at that site.  The sales tax revenue from the first year of operation is projected to generate about $80 million in sales, about $500,000 of which will go to the city each of the first five years, said Tomball City Manager George Shackelford.  After the first five years, the amount will shift with the city projected to receive about 25 percent more.

In 2015, sales tax revenues dropped 14.34 percent, between December 2014 and December 2015.  For cities like Tomball, sales tax revenue is a significant source of income, and in Tomball's case, that amounts to about 45 percent of the city's general fund balance.  The last major downturn in the region happened in 2010 in the midst of the last major recession, but has progressively improved since then.  Shackelford said he expects the February numbers to be significantly higher that December and January.

"We will have to wait and see," he said.  Still, local community leaders in Tomball are thinking positive.

In November, Kelly Violette, executive director for the Tomball Economic Development Corp. attended the annual deal making event for the International Council of Shopping Centers, which allows retailers to connect with local communities.

Violette, who has attended the event each of the last five years, said they met with a greater number of retailers this year than in previous years.

"From the moment we walked in we had a steady stream of traffic," she said. "A couple of years ago, we were going to other people's booths and trying to get them to recognize that (Tomball) is a growing market. Now, we are in a position where people know about Tomball and know this is a very hot market. It's very promising from our standpoint to know the interest is there."