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!

Commercial / Office / Industrial Development

New developments

Two new buildings in Friendswood’s Downtown District — Lease negotiations are underway with several companies that could potentially fill the entire 63,400 SF mixed-use office building underway at 505 S. Friendswood Drive. The four-story building has retail and restaurant space on the ground floor and office space on the other three. The shell is near completion with build-outs in progress. This is a $10 million project for Tannos Construction and Development LLC.

The developer has proposed yet another building, also in the downtown district, next to the city’s library. This one will be approximately 147,000 SF with retail and restaurant opportunities on the ground floor and Class A residential on the next three floors. Some of the amenities include a multi-level garage within the building, hidden from the street view. A full gym will be on premises as well as a pool and sun deck above the garage. There will be more details on this project later.

Industry Park on FM 2351 near Hope Village Rd. in Friendswood — There are seven industrial-zoned parcels for land lease, build-to-suit or purchase ranging from .8 to 2.5 acres in size. Two of the parcels have been taken by a national wholesale/retail business and another for a corporate office. The best uses for this business park are distribution, assembly, light manufacturing.

Other news

E Squared Marine, LLC plans to break ground this month on its new 8,065 SF office building at 4440 FM 2351 at Hope Village Road in Friendswood. The company is a full-service inland marine transportation and logistics company.

University of Texas Medical Branch opened its new $94 million Health Education Center, a 160,000 SF building at 11th and Market streets in Galveston. The five-story building’s south side is mostly a traditional college building; the north side transports students to a hospital-like setting with simulated patient beds, an ambulance bay, surgical suites and nurses station. Read more here (may require a subscription)

Recent lease transactions

6,800 SF — Houston Methodist leased the remainder of the first floor at Tuscan Lakes Professional Building, 2220 E. League City Pkwy., and now occupies 19,546 SF. Colliers International / Coy Davidson represented the tenant.

Two tenants (medical and insurance) leased office space at Lawrence Business Park, 820 Lawrence Road in Kemah. Colliers International / Kelly Hutchinson negotiated for the landlord.

Other real estate transactions

A 16,000 SF industrial property at 1177 Butler Road in League City recently sold. Negotiating the deal: Jason Tangen / Colliers for the buyer and Mike Spears and Thomas Leger / Lee & Associates for the seller.

A local investor purchased 4.15 acres at 386 S. Egret Bay Blvd. in League City. Handling the negotiations were Maury Bronstein and John S. Wall Jr. / 192 Ventures for the buyer and Russell Rau and Pat Pollan / Pollan Hausman Real Estate Services for the seller.

Opening soon

Friendswood Behavioral Innovations at 103 E. Shadowbend

Retail / Hospitality Development

New developments

Big things are happening at River Bend in League City — hotel, amphitheater, restaurant, marina, more luxury apartments! Watch for a 150-room Aloft Hotel to rise up at the 60+ acre River Bend development; completion is expected by the end of 2020. The site is along Wesley Drive near the Gulf Freeway, just north of FM 518. Also planned — the Spotted Trout, a new restaurant overlooking the marina, serving steaks, burgers, salads and more and a 1,000-seat amphitheater. The first completed project at River Bend was a 203-unit apartment project — Marina Bend at Clear Creek. In the works is a second phase of the luxury apartment complex; this one will be 300 units named River View at River Bend. More restaurants are planned along with townhomes on piers, retail and offices.

Gilley’s Entertainment Center is coming to League City. Developers are in the final permitting phase for the facility and restaurant. Construction begins in 2020 on a 16-acre site at the intersection of Link and Calder Roads. This will be a family-friendly entertainment center and a part of a larger mixed-use development that will include retail shops and a hotel with meeting and conference amenities.

Food news

Bill’s Bar & Burger of New York opened at the Kemah Boardwalk making this the seventh U.S. location. The menu includes burgers, cocktails, milkshakes and craft beers.

Black Bear Diner is now open at Pinnacle Park in League City, 2481 Gulf Fwy. Lease space is also available there for another restaurant — 10,000 SF is ready to go for a seafood eatery.

There’s strong interest in 90 acres that are for sale along FM 518 across from Wal-Mart and the 79,000 SF Shoppes of Kemah. The property is in both Kemah and Clear Lake Shores behind the Target and Home Depot that fronts Marina Bay Drive.

O-Zone opportunity — La Marque is working to bring entertainment and dining options to its downtown Renaissance District. This is a revitalization project located inside a Federal Opportunity Zone. Market on 3 (a food truck park), the Economic Development Corporation offices, and Art of Coffee are the first businesses to locate there.

Hospitality news

Villagio Tower Event Venue, a 12,000 SF events center, will open at 3881 League City Parkway. Planned are two ballrooms; one of them will feature a wedding chapel and an outdoor courtyard.

Another project has been completed at the historic 330,000 SF Falstaff Brewery building in Galveston at 3301 Church Street. Events @ The Tasting Room was recently unveiled; it is actually the original tasting room of the Falstaff Brewery. The new venue features two large dining halls, a conference room, bridal room and rooftop patio with a nearly 360-degree view of downtown Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico. Being a historic building, all work was done under guidelines adhering to the authenticity of the 1905 building. The boutique hotel is planned to be completed by the fall of 2021.

Carnival Cruise Line is bringing a fourth cruise ship to the Port of Galveston in May 2021. Carnival Radiance’s schedule will include five, nine and 14-day trips. It will undergo a $200 million renovation that will add new restaurants and update several other areas. Read the rest of the story here:

The Galveston Historical Foundation plans to bring a new interactive museum to the city by restoring an important landmark the 33,000 SF Galveston, Houston & Henderson Freight Depot built in 1904 at 3304 Market St. The project will include a 6,000 SF museum focusing on the 1900 Storm and grade raising. The remainder of the building will be for commercial or retail space. Read more here:

Real estate transactions

Crunch Fitness leased 27,000 SF at the League City Plaza, 196 Gulf Freeway, at the former site of a Kroger store. This is a new $2.5 million, 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; it will open soon.

Recently sold — 1.55 acres at 501 S. Friendswood Drive in the downtown district for a new 16,000 SF retail center. BAHEP member Colliers International / Kelly Hutchinson represented the seller.

Coming Soon

FriendswoodRustika Cafe and Bakery at 1302 S. Friendswood Drive; at Friendswood Fountains — Friendswood Smiles Family & Emergency Dentistry and Tune-up the Manly Salon.

League City Kolache Factory at 306 N. Gulf Fwy. at FM 518; Code Ninjas at 3725 E. League City Pkwy.; Moon Valley Nursery at 402 FM 646

Now Open

Kemah Dan’s Pizza Wings ‘N’ Beer Deck at 800 Bradford

League City Banfield Pet Hospital at 1911 W. League City Pkwy.; Altar’d Interiors at 1640 E. Main; Ann’tiques on W. Main at 1830 W. Main St.; Frost Bank’s Clear Creek Financial Center at 201 FM 270; Mathnasium of South Shore at 2576 E. League City Pkwy.

Dickinson Penny’s Beer Garden at 1001 FM 646 North

Friendswood Orangetheory Fitness at 1769 S. Friendswood Drive; Bliss Boutique Fitness at 313 S. Friendswood Drive

Residential Development

Homebuilder, Grand Dominion, plans to build at Lago Mar in Texas City. This is a 2,033-acre community where more than 4,000 homes will be built.

Infrastructure News And Everything Else!

Education News

College of the Mainland and Sam Houston State University have signed an MOU that enables students to have joint admission at both institutions.

Texas City ISD has construction underway for three new elementary school buildings. Hayley Elementary will be built at 1431 Bayou Road in La Marque, a $24.4 million project. Simms Elementary will be rebuilt at 529 N. Westward Street in Texas City at a cost of $24.1 million. And, Guajardo Elementary will be built at 2300 21st St. in Texas City, a $25.7 million project.

Galveston Bay Foundation broke ground on its new headquarters and education center in Kemah. The Gessner Center will feature exhibit and event space, inside and outside classrooms and laboratories. A pavilion was the first structure to go up on the 30 acres that Galveston Bay Foundation purchased. This facility allows hands-on work on the edge of the bay such as seining for fish, examining oyster reefs and learning more about the aquatic environment. The property is along SH 146 and extends to the shore of Galveston Bay. Read more here: Houston Public Media

A beach-building project is going on in Galveston from 61st to 83rd streets. The $20.9 million project involves laying 711,000 cubic yards of sand to restore eroded beaches. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dredging the ship channel of sandy material and then pumping it into the eroded areas. They are partnering with the Texas General Land Office, the Galveston Park Board of Trustees and the city of Galveston.