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!

You can read the full thing here.  Below are Galveston County items from the most recent issue:

Recent Lease Transactions

42,000 SF – University of Texas Medical Branch leased space that was formerly occupied by Sports Authority in League City. The address is 2620 I-45 at FM 646 – Victory Lakes Town Center. It will be used for medical services.

Medical News

MD Anderson Cancer Center opened its new four-story, 200,000 SF facility in League City at 2280 S. Gulf Freeway. With construction costs estimated at $110 million, more than $24 million alone was spent on state-of-the-art equipment for the new building. Services offered here are an ambulatory treatment center, outpatient clinics, diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, pharmacy, pathology/lab and rehabilitation therapy in addition to wellness resources and other support services. Built on the UTMB Health League City campus, this is a collaboration between the two UT health organizations. Read more here

HCA’s Mainland Medical Center in Texas City completed a $5 million expansion of its emergency department by adding 6,200 SF of space and 13 new patient rooms.

Retail / Hospitality Development

Just announced – The City Council of League City approved a pre-development agreement on October 30, 2018 for Epicenter League City, a $450 million development on approximately 100 acres adjacent to Interstate 45. The development could include new hotels and a convention center complex, restaurants, shops, and facilities for special events, amateur and professional sports. The site is on the east side of I-45 (Gulf Freeway) at League City Parkway and is now home to the city’s sportsplex which will be relocated to a 106-acre site on the west side of the city near Bay Colony. City staff will work with the developer, Western Spherical Developers LLC, over the next several months to complete a final development agreement for the City Council’s consideration early next year. Once that is done, construction could begin, possibly within 30 days. Read more about it and here (subscription needed).

Bragging rights over here! Galveston County will be home to the largest crystal lagoon in Texas! The site is in Texas City at Lago Mar, a master-planned community along the Gulf Freeway, just south of Holland Road. Land Tejas Development and Crystal Lagoon Corporation plan a 12-acre lagoon within a 70-acre mixed-use resort development. Planned are amenities such as multiple beaches, a beach club, event lawn for social events and concerts and a hotel with access to the future waterfront boardwalk. Approximately one-third of the crystal clear lagoon perimeter will include private amenities for the 4,500 homes. One-third of the perimeter will be for paid public access, and the remaining portion of the lagoon perimeter, comprising approximately 35 acres of land, will be sold off to retail, hotel and condo developers.  Read more.

Plans have been revealed for the next phase of Pinnacle Park in League City; Phase III will be approximately 80,000 SF of retail, 30,000 SF of office and will have a structured parking component. It will be pedestrian-friendly with water features and green areas. Pinnacle Park is a 110-acre development along the west side of the Gulf Freeway between FM 646 and League City Parkway, anchored by Cabela’s on the north and Memorial Hermann on the south. Phase II consists of four buildings totaling 32,000 SF with tenants such as Abuelo’s, Salata, Olympia Grill and Kabuki Japanese Steak and Sushi; 6,900 SF is available for lease.

Update on Marina Bend in League City – 60+ acres – Wesley Drive at the Gulf Freeway. The construction of the marina bulkhead should start in the next 3-4 weeks. A hotel franchise has been awarded; there will be more details on this later. Planned for Phase II is a luxury multifamily project. Phase l included Marina Bend at Clear Creek, a 203-unit luxury, multi-family project.

The Old Fig Factory building, built in 1909 and located at 495 Coryell in League City, will be leased by the owners of Butler’s Courtyard, a wedding and events venue. Both locations will be used for events; Butler’s Courtyard is also located in a historic building at 122 N. Michigan Avenue.

Kemah Gardens opened a new event center at its facility located at 1019 Lewis Drive in Kemah.

Done Deals

Victory Lakes Shopping Center – 370,000 SF – in League City at the Gulf Freeway and SH 646 was recently purchased by a partnership of Fidelis Realty Partners. Tenants include JC Penney, Hobby Lobby, UTMB and Best Buy.

Leases

10,000 SF – Dollar Tree leased space in a new 208,500 SF building that’s breaking ground at Marketplace at NinetySix in League City. Plans are for Phase II to open fall of 2019. Negotiations by: Rebecca Le and Heather Nguyen / NewQuest Properties for the property owner; Jeff Read / Read King for the tenant. Ace Hardware also leased 10,000 SF in the new center. Banfield Pet Hospital leased 2,859 SF of remaining space in Phase one. John LaRue represented the tenant.

3,500 SF – Wild Kingdom Pet Supplies leased at 3311 FM 518 in League City. Zann Commercial Brokerage and Noble House Real Estate negotiated the deal.

2,787 SF – TX Crawfish and Seafood Restaurant opened at Bay Colony Town Center, 2955 S. Gulf Freeway, in League City.

Restaurant News

707 Chophouse opened in Kemah at 707 Bradford Avenue.

Olympia Grill opened in League City at 2535 Gulf Freeway at Pinnacle Park. This is the third restaurant for the owners who also have Olympia Grill on the seawall and Olympia Grill at Pier 21, both in Galveston.

Slim Chickens opened a 2,400 SF restaurant in League City at 2490 S. Gulf Freeway at Town Center Drive. Chicken and waffles are on the menu!

Red River Cantina is expected to be open by the end of January in League City at 1911 E. Main St.

Coming Soon: League City – King’s Bierhaus plans to open by February at 828 W. FM 646.

Now Open: League City – Better Brain Centers at 303 E. Main St.

Just for fun!

Dickinson Festival of Lights at Paul Hopkins Park. Free! Open nightly from 6 pm to 8:30 pm with shuttles running from nearby parking lots to the festival grounds.

Residential Development

Town Harbour Estates, a project of Axis Point Developers, will break ground in the next few months 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.

Keener Investments acquired The Shore and Harbor Walk multifamily properties in League City, a total of 314 units. The interiors and amenity spaces will be upgraded on both properties.

Infrastructure News and Everything Else!

Plans have emerged for the 30 acres in Kemah that Galveston Bay Foundation purchased about two years ago. The property is along SH 146 and extends to the shore of Galveston Bay. Planned are facilities where people can come to learn about the Bay with hands-on learning for students and teachers, on-site exhibits and demonstration projects focused on water conservation, water quality and habitat restoration. Offices, classrooms, laboratories, meeting and gathering rooms and exhibit spaces will be housed in a certified green building. Learn more here.

A third cruise terminal for Port of Galveston: The port and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to the construction of a 200,000 SF cruise terminal at Pier 10. The cruise company will pay about $100 million to build the terminal and hold a 20-year lease on the property, with four 10-year renewal options. The Wharves Board of Trustees, which governs the port, is expected to vote on a final agreement in January, after the port and the cruise company finalize details of the long-term lease agreement. The new terminal is slated to open in the fall of 2021 and will be used almost exclusively by Royal Caribbean. Read more and here and here (subscription needed) .

Getting closer … The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its preferred plan to protect the Texas coast from damaging storm surges. It’s a 76-mile long system of barriers and gates that would be built along Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula from High Island to San Luis Pass. Cost is estimated between $23 and $30 billion. What’s next? Hold public meetings about the proposed barrier plan, issue the feasibility study which will be final in 2021 and send it to Congress for funding appropriations.

City News

Did you know that League City’s population reached almost 105,000 in January 2018? Did you know the city is just over 50% developed and projections show the population could rise over 200,000? League City is expanding its network of hike and bike trails; there are now 40 miles of trails including a 6.5 mile paddle trail along Clear Creek. Once the city is built out, there will be over 200 miles of off-road trails. One new project is the FM 518 Bypass Hike & Bike Trail which will result in about 2.2 miles of 10-ft wide concrete trails near Clear Creek intermediate and high schools and major roads such as FM 270, FM 518, and FM 2094. Read more here.

La Marque’s new downtown revitalization plan was approved by the city council. The plan includes beautification measures such as more trees, parks, improved downtown lighting and adopting a coastal color paint scheme. La Marque is the second fastest-growing city in Galveston County with an estimated population of 16,000. The city has more than 14 miles of frontage along the Gulf Freeway.

Education News

Texas A&M University at Galveston opened its Aggie Special Events Center, part of a $99 million expansion. It’s 38,000 SF and has classrooms, seminar rooms, book store, meeting rooms and more. There are 2,279 students enrolled at the TAMU-Galveston campus.