21 new grocery stores planned amid Houston’s strongest retail growth in years

Jan 13, 2017, 1:33pm CST

Olivia PulsinelliSenior web editorHouston Business Journal

Houston’s retail development boom — including grocery stores, big-box retailers and other major projects — shows no sign of slowing down this year, even as the energy downturn has hit several other real estate sectors.

The area is expected to see 4.98 million square feet of retail space built and opened in 2017, according to Houston-based Wulfe & Co.’s 24th Annual Retail Survey. That’s up 9.2 percent form the 4.5 million completed in 2016 and the largest figure the Houston area has seen since 2008. Click through the slideshow to see some major retail developments underway around the Houston area.

Much of the new space is already under construction, is fully leased by national retailers, is being self-developed by national retailers or includes planned new projects of major development firms. Only about 10 percent will be speculative store space available for lease.

Grocers plan to add 21 new stores in the Houston area this year, accounting for 23 percent of the new space. Here are the new grocery stores planned for 2017:

  • Kroger: six more 123,000-square-foot prototype Marketplace stores ( see a recent slideshow)
  • H-E-B: three more 100,000-square-foot stores and one Joe V’s Smart Shop ( see a recent slideshow)
  • Aldi: 10 more 19,000-square-foot stores ( recent news)
  • Wal-Mart: one neighborhood supermarket

Here are other major big box stores planned for 2017:

  • Wal-Mart: three super stores
  • Target: two super stores
  • Costco: a new 150,000-square-foot store
  • At Home: three 100,000-square-foot stores
  • Total Wine: six stores between 25,000 and 35,000 square feet
  • Lowes: two new stores
  • Home Depot: one new store

The report also highlights seven new theaters, two new Lifetime Fitness locations, one new LA Fitness and a new VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa. Additionally, Pinstripe will open a 34,000-square-foot bowling and restaurant concept in the new Kirby Collection mixed-use development in Upper Kirby.

The region’s suburban areas will see a large portion of 2017’s growth, driven by the new sections of the Grand Parkway and recent single-family and multifamily housing booms. Even though multifamily and office construction is expected to slow in 2017, retail should not be effected this year or in the immediate future, Ed Wulfe, chairman and CEO of Wulfe & Co., said in the report.

“Even with this aggressive expansion of new retail space commitments, overall retail occupancy in Houston will continue to strengthen and approach an all-time high rate in excess of an estimated 94 percent,” Wulfe said in the report. “Retail rental rates will increase slightly in response to the limited availability of shopping center space and higher land and development costs. With the area’s continued growth along with the expansion needs of both established and new-to-market retailers, the competition for available space in well located, well tenanted retail developments, is intensive in spite of the higher rental rates,”


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