Four times a year, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership produces The Business Development Update newsletter that reports on Commercial / Office / Industrial Development; Retail / Hospitality Development; Residential Development; and Infrastructure News and Everything Else!

Retail / Hospitality Development

Plans are in the works for the second phase of Virgata Commons, a mixed-use 14-acre project in Friendswood. Construction should begin in January 2020. This phase includes 36,000 SF of retail and office space. Location: 1765 S. Friendswood Drive.

Coming Soon

Friendswood – Behavioral Innovations (therapy for children on autism spectrum) at 105 E. Shadowbend Drive; Chick-fil-A at 1757 S. Friendswood Dr. (Virgata Commons) early in 2020

Now Open

Kemah – Dan’s Pizza Wings ‘N’ Beer Deck at 800 Bradford Ave.; Ancora (small plates and beverages) at 700 Kipp Ave.

League City – Texas Artisan (fine jewelry, gifts) at 2800 Marina Bay Drive

Friendswood – Mod Pizza, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Jersey Mike’s at Virgata Commons; Rebecca Penny Photography at 1414 S. Friendswood Dr.; Oils R Us at 2407 W. Parkwood

Residential Development

In Friendswood

  • Avalon – 157 acres, 259 lots. Master-planned, single-family community; completion of the development hinges on the completion of Friendswood Lakes Blvd.
  • Sterling Creek – 43 acres, sections 5, 6, 7 being rezoned to Garden Home District. The project passed the first reading. The project could include about 193 lots.
  • Friendswood Trails – DR Horton will build on the front two sections, about 130 lots, starting early 2020.
  • The Albritton – a proposed 147,000 SF project by Tannos Construction and Development on S. Friendswood Drive. Retail and restaurants on ground floor and 99 class A residential units, 620 SF-1,350 SF, on upper three floors. Multi-level garage; pool and sun deck above garage.

In Santa Fe

  • Tower Road Estates, 150 homes
  • Vicinity of Tower Road Estates, 1,750 homes are in the works
  • Pecan Trails, 25 homes, Hwy. 6 / FM 1764 area
  • Near Avenue S, approximately 300 homes are proposed.

Previously reported for our area …

League City –

  • Dirt work is underway on Davis Road in League City for a high-end residential development, 90 lots on 30 acres. Homes are expected to start in the $800’s
  • Town Harbour Estates, a project of Axis Point Developers, is underway on a 74-lot gated community. The developer plans to build a canal in the middle of the community to help with drainage. The 37-acre site is on Clear Lake near Lakeside Drive in League City.
  • Two developments in League City have advanced toward approval for development as residential and commercial centers. Two developments totaling approximately 2,585 acres are in review. Both are part of three large tracts, north of FM 517 and generally to the west of Calder Drive. The Westland tract is a proposed residential development that would add 1,000 new homes. The Duncan tract encompasses about 1,705 acres and is in three school districts. Read more here in these two articles (subscription required).


  • Coastal Point has been approved for development in League City. Work will start on the first phase in about 12 months. It’s a mile south of the League City Parkway, north of FM 646 and about a mile east of
  • South Shore Blvd. Planned are 552 residences on 202 acres.


Work continues at Bayou Bend Estates, a 58-acre residential development in Dickinson. Forty-seven residential lots are planned; location is FM 517 and Country Club Drive.

Infrastructure News and Everything Else!

Done deal for the Port of Galveston! A third cruise terminal – 150,000 SF at a cost of nearly $100 million – will be built on 10 acres at Pier 10. The terminal will be capable of handling Royal Caribbean’s largest ships. Completion is expected by fall 2021. Read more 

Speaking of large ships … Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is bringing Allure of the Seas to Galveston in 2021. Allure is part of the cruise line’s Oasis Class, the largest class of ships, and is 1,187 ft. long, 215 ft. wide and has a capacity for 6,780 guests plus 2,200 crew members. There are 18 total decks and 2,742 staterooms. Allure will sail seven-night Caribbean itineraries from Galveston beginning in November 2021, after undergoing a $165 million renovation project.

In 2021, Carnival Cruise Line will be homeport to four ships at the Port of Galveston. Read more here.

Did you know that in early December, the Port of Galveston set a new record … one million cruise passengers?!!

Galveston’s cruise industry contributes $115 million in local spending and generates

3,638 total jobs of which 1,695 are direct jobs.

Cruise activity generated $16.3 million in state and local tax revenue in 2018.

Galveston County – A $4.7 million county annex building is proposed in Bacliff on the site of the old community center. This project is up for approval by the County Commissioners. Also, a new vehicle maintenance facility is planned for Dickinson and a new medical examiner’s office is planned for La Marque. Ten acres of land were recently purchased on Broadway in Galveston between 54th and 59th streets for an expansion of the county’s bond office.

A new city center is proposed for Hitchcock. Students of architecture and urban planning have presented a comprehensive plan for the community; the students are part of the Texas Target Communities project based at Texas A&M University. Highway 6 at Main Street is the target area for the project. One version of the plan calls for City Hall to move from the south to the north side of Highway 6 creating a municipal complex along with a community center and library, and a place for new businesses and recreation. It’s a work in progress as Commissioners will need to review and possibly adopt the plan and then monitor, evaluate and update the plan as it moves along. Read more here (subscription needed).

Education News …

College of the Mainland plans a new campus location in League City for general education and dual-credit classes. The facility is 27,570 SF, located at 1411 W. Main St. It will be renovated by the owner, JMK5 Holdings, for a long-term lease by the college. Construction will begin early in 2020 with an opening planned for the summer of 2020. The fall 2019 enrollment for COM was 4,702 students.

Next summer, Clear Creek ISD will start reconstruction of the Ed White E-STEM Magnet School, a $19.7 million project. As one of the district’s oldest schools, it will be brought up to current safety standards to support the magnet school’s science, technology, engineering and math curriculum. The district will also begin construction this summer on a rebuild project of Clear View High School, an alternative campus. Expected completion on the $45 million project is December 2021; capacity will be 350 students. Read more here.

Road news …

Kemah – A new road, Ralph Gordy Avenue, will be constructed off Hwy. 146 between FM 518 and the League City Pkwy. for residents and visitors who want to access retail and entertainment businesses. The road will open up more than 100 acres of land for future commercial development and create an alternative route for traffic as Hwy. 146 is widened over the next five years. The project could be expanded with an additional road segment going south to the League City Parkway.

League City – The planned extension of Landing Boulevard will start construction January 2022. The project could reach $49 million. One bridge in the design is 2,772 ft. long and will be constructed over Clear Creek plus a new 1.7-mile, four-lane road connecting Landing Boulevard to the Gulf Freeway is in the plan. Read more here (subscription needed).